Thinking of starting a software or web company?

BizSpark

Microsoft® has an exciting new program specifically designed to provide early stage Startups with software, support, and visibility to help ignite your success. The program, called BizSpark™, provides access to:image

  • Software. Join BizSpark and you’re just clicks away from having access to current, full-featured development tools, including Visual Studio Team System, plus production licensing to develop and bring your solution to market.
  • Support. BizSpark provides you with professional technical support from Microsoft and connects you to a global community of business experts who can help guide you through the hurdles of growing your business.
  • Visibility. Through BizSpark, you’ll have the opportunity to achieve global visibility to an audience of potential investors, clients and partners.

Eligibility requirements are minimal: If you’re a privately held company (or are planning to form a company) building a software-based product or service (even using open source code), in business for fewer than three years, and with less than USD$1M in annual revenue, you’re in!

WebsiteSpark

Microsoft® WebsiteSpark™ ignites success in the Web business by helping Web Pros to drive new business opportunities through connections with partners and customers around the world. WebsiteSpark also provides Web Pros with Microsoft software and solutions, as well as support and training opportunities. By participating in WebsiteSpark, Network Partners, including Hosting Partners, gain exposure as a Microsoft partner and join an ecosystem that includes not only Web development and design companies but also their customers.

image WebsiteSpark can help you to drive new business opportunities and expand your customer base. You benefit from co-marketing activities to drive demand toward your portfolio of Web solutions. Then you can extend your reach by exposing your services to the broad set of Microsoft customers and partners. You also can benefit from professional support and training from Microsoft engineers, Hosting Partners, Network Partners, and peers from around the world. You receive free online training, trainer mentoring, and webinars.

As a participant in WebsiteSpark, you get discounts on software and solutions to bring to market your sites and applications based on the Microsoft Windows® Web platform. You receive fast, easy, and immediate access to current Microsoft development tools, Web platform technologies, and production licenses of server products. This can help you to improve your development and design productivity.

WebsiteSpark provides software licenses that you can use for three years at no cost.  Once enrolled, you can download and immediately use the following software from Microsoft:

  • 3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
  • 1 license of Expression Studio 3 (which includes Expression Blend, Sketchflow, and Web)
  • 2 licenses of Expression Web 3
  • 4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 R2
  • 4 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
  • DotNetPanel control panel (enabling easy remote/hosted management of your servers)

The Windows Server and SQL Server licenses can be used for both development and production deployment.  You can either self-host the servers on your own, or use the licenses with a hoster.  WebsiteSpark makes it easy to find hosters who are also enrolled in the program, and who can use your licenses to provide you with either dedicated or virtual dedicated servers to host your sites on.

In addition to software, WebsiteSpark provides partner opportunities to grow and build your business (including customer referrals through our partner programs).  It also includes product support (including 2 professional support incidents) and free online training for the products.

Who can join WebsiteSpark?

WebSiteSpark is available to independent web developers and small web development companies.  The only two requirements to join the program are:

  1. Your company builds web sites and web application on behalf of others.
  2. Your company currently has less than 10 employees

Signing up

image To join either program, you need a nomination from a BizSpark or WebsiteSpark Network Partner like Pixel Programming – they’re happy to sponsor anyone that qualifies. Send an e-mail to phil@pixelprogramming.com and to get signed up.

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About Colin Angus Mackay
I blog at ColinMackay.scot. I help run Scottish Developers which is a user group for software developers in Scotland.

One Response to Thinking of starting a software or web company?

  1. Pingback: October Newsletter « Scottish Developers

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