Microsoft BizSpark, a programme that gives tech startups a boost

Updated on 28 August 2014

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As a tech startup, it is important to familiarise yourself with programmes that help you succeed by giving you access to software for your small business. Getting the right software for your business, will provide you with much needed access to development tools, business support through accelerators and incubators, and connect your business with key industry players. To help with all this, Microsoft, an American multinational corporation, has a programme called Microsoft BizSpark.
The programme is a global initiative that helps software development starters by providing them with free access to Microsoft development tools and services for three years.

What Microsoft BizSpark does 

The programme connects startups with big businesses, including potential customers and investors. It also provides marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs with their early stage tech business for free. Apart from that, Microsoft has a BizSpark Accelerator programme which works very closely with qualifying startups to give them everything they need to reach the next level of success faster.
External experts guide these businesses through the development process by offering support and mentorship in areas like technology,human resources and financial management. The programme also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services. In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,000 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors and government agencies.
Find out more on how Microsoft BizSpark works in the below video: To qualify for BіzSpark, a startup must be:

  • Developing software
  • Privately held
  • Generating less than R5 million in annual revenue (upon joining the program)
  •  Less than 5 years old

How you benefit from Microsoft BizSpark

 Microsoft BizSpark gives tech statups the equivalent of a Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Ultimate subscription which enables you to download 900+ products and other benefits that you get from Bizspark include:

  • A visual studio, which is a suite of component-based software development tool that enable you to create and build powerful apps.
  • Marketing visibility that helps you to promote your business.
  • Becoming part of the BizSpark ecosystem, which gives you access to investors, advisors, mentors and unique and valuable offers to help you run your business, find talent and financial help.
  • Access to technical, product and business training & support.
  • Access to current, full-featured Microsoft software development tools, platform technologies, and server products to build software applications.
  • Getting free monthly Microsoft Azure benefits enabling them to quickly build, deploy, and manage Web applications.
  • Developing, deploying and testing on Windows 8 and other versions of the operating system and you also get a free 1 year Windows Store developer account.
  • Having access to a platform that allows you to build an infrastructure of connected apps, networks and web services, from the work group to the datacentre.
  • Being able to start building apps for Office and SharePoint.

Here is what other tech startups are saying on how Microsoft BizSpark is helping in entrepreneur development and job creation:

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