As I’ve been traveling across the US, I’ve spoken to tons of entrepreneurs, IT Pros and Developers alike, that are really interested in starting their own software business.
Whether as a side-business or a full-fledged organization, startup opportunities in publishing mobile and cloud apps has never been greater, with analysts forecasting a continued compound annual growth rate of 15.25 percent from 2013-2018.
Let’s face it … starting a new venture can be expensive. And, that’s where we want to help you! At Microsoft, we believe that by helping startups succeed, we’re also helping to build a valued long-term partnership. Together, we can build a more vibrant software economy that leads to new opportunities for all of us. To assist with incubating and growing new software businesses, we offer a special program that’s been specially designed for startups: Microsoft BizSpark.
Microsoft BizSpark helps qualifying software startups succeed by providing free access to Microsoft cloud services, software and tools for three (3) years. In addition, BizSpark can connect enrolled startups with key industry partners, including investors, and can provide marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs get started.
Absolutely! The cloud services, tools and marketing benefits provided via BizSpark apply to all software startups, whether developing on Microsoft or other platforms. In particular, the Microsoft Azure cloud platform serves as a global, scalable cloud services solution for hosting web sites and applications that are built using Microsoft .NET, Oracle, Linux, MySQL, MongoDB or other open source technologies, such as Node.js, Phython, PHP, Java, etc.
Over 50,000 startups from around the globe have leveraged BizSpark to help launch their venture over the past 4+ years! For these startups, BizSpark has helped to significantly reduce startup costs by thousands of dollars and accelerate their business development efforts … just the free cloud services, software and tools alone provided via BizSpark can represent a retail value of over $40,000 USD to qualifying startups.
Once such startup that is in my local area, ChoreMonster.com based in Cincinnati OH, offers a great success story for how a startup can successfully leverage BizSpark to launch, grow and prosper. Scott Hanselman recently caught up with Chris Bergman, CEO at ChoreMonster.com, at SXSW 2014 a few weeks ago to get his perspective on success as a software startup ...
Read the full success story on ChoreMonster.com.
Here’s a few of the ways in which BizSpark has helped other startups succeed …
They’re yours to keep! At the end of 3 years, just visit the BizSpark site and complete the graduation process to become part of the “BizSpark Alumni”.
As part of this process, BizSpark will provide your organization with a license grant for any production licenses for your software as a service solution and Visual Studio with Microsoft Developer Network subscriptions you requested at graduation. You may continue using any of the software listed on the license grant according to the license grant use rights.
In addition, BizSpark Alumni can take advantage of special MSDN discount offers for continued access to Microsoft Azure and ongoing MSDN benefits for new product releases.
No. To be eligible for BizSpark, your startup organization must be building software or apps as part of your core business, but there are lots of opportunities to get started with building apps that don’t necessarily involve code-based development. For a step-by-step walk-through of one such approach, leveraging our Project Siena app building tool, check out the following article series that I published last month:
In addition, BizSpark also provides tons of training resources for expanding your app building skills into code-based development as your startup progresses.
To enroll your startup organization in BizSpark, just follow these simple steps …
As you consider BizSpark for your startup organization, please refer to our BizSpark FAQ for answers to common questions. If your question isn’t answered in this FAQ, feel free to post it in the Comments section below or email me at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.
Good luck with your new startup!
Be sure to check out these additional resources:
Keith Mayer is a Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Cloud and Enterprise platforms. Keith has over 20 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT Pros worldwide on design of enterprise technology solutions.
Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including Private Cloud, System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from VMware, IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.
You can contact Keith online at http://aka.ms/AskKeith.