In case you were too busy chanting “Yes we can!” and missed the news, Microsoft just announced a new program for startups called BizSpark. This is a really important move by Microsoft and it represents a huge value for startups who are considering the Microsoft platform. Basically, you can quality to receive free Microsoft development tools, platforms and server products for up to three years. Perhaps more importantly, you get plugged into the BizSpark network partners and support services.
To qualify, your company must have under $1M in revenue, be less than 3 years old, and still be private. You must also be sponsored by one of the Network Partners. Essentially, these Network Partners have the power to grant the free software and services to any startup they see fit. Many angel groups and venture capitalists are BizSpark Network Partners, including The Foundry Group, CSIA, The Keiretsu Forum, and Techstars.
Don Dodge has an excellent detailed post on the program on his blog.
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