With all the startups I talk with these days, I’m still running into some that aren’t aware of BizSpark. Most of the conversations start with “So why should I join?” The answer is simple – as a startup, you get the same level of access to our platforms and development tools as the largest companies – but you get them for free (as in beer.) The only requirements are that your startup be less than 3 years old, have less than $1M in annual revenue, and be privately held, though it helps a LOT if you’ve already registered your domain and sign up with an email on that domain. When you do that you get an MSDN subscription for each of your developers, production licenses for select servers, Azure hours to help develop your cloud based solution, BPOS (hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Communicator, and Live Meeting), support incidents, and the chance to be spotlighted on sites such as TechCrunch and Mashable.
After we go over that, the next question tends to be “OK, so what’s the catch? There’s got to be some fine print somewhere in that.” And the answer is nope. Zip. Nada. When you sign up, the software is yours. The only bill you would ever get is if you choose to buy additional resources on Azure. Your software doesn’t expire – and when you graduate from the BizSpark program, either through growth or time, we give you some great deals on keeping the benefits even then.
So why are we doing this? We want you to have no barriers to evaluate the platforms. When you’re running a startup, you’re always short on two things, time and money. We remove the time problem of finding the right licensing configuration and path and we remove the money problem by opening up the vault of software for you to ensure that you’ve got access to whatever components you need to get started.
To join BizSpark, you can sign up at http://bit.ly/BizSparkSignup or send me a message through the “Contact me” here on my blog.