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The Warsaw Voice » Business » December 3, 2008
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Microsoft For Polish Start-Ups
December 3, 2008 By A.R.    
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Microsoft has launched a new initiative called BizSpark aimed at providing Polish technological start-ups with free licenses for Microsoft products such as Windows Server, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office Sharepoint Portal Server, BizTalk Server.

BizSpark, which was launched worldwide at the beginning of November, is a program aimed at providing Microsoft products as well as technical support free to young technological companies building software-based products or services. The goal is to accelerate the development of start-up companies. Microsoft will provide members of the program with access to professional programming tools as well as server products needed to build their own internet solutions.

Besides this, BizSpark will provide opportunities to liaise with business partners around the world: incubators, investors, advisors, state agencies and companies offering hosting services. Another advantage is the possibility of presenting the new company to an international group of potential investors, customers and partners through the dedicated BizSparkDB.com platform accessible through the Microsoft Startup Zone.

Companies may take part in the program for a maximum of three years. Privately held companies and individuals are eligible if they work in the software sector, generate less than $1 million in annual revenue and have been active less than three years.

With BizSpark, Microsoft provides start-ups with a three-year subscription to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Professional, enabling them to download the necessary tools, such as Microsoft Visual Studio, to build, test and service applications built on the Microsoft platform. "Our experience until now in working with start-ups has shown us how important strategic technological decisions are in the starting phase of a company's life, guaranteeing growth as well as enabling them to satisfy the demands of the market," says Karol Wituszyński, Local Software Economy Lead at Microsoft Poland. "BizSpark facilitates this by offering young companies the newest technologies without them having to incur costs [at this stage], as well as providing them with the support necessary to achieve business success," he continues.

"BizSpark is a project aimed at leveling the technological playing field between established companies and start-ups," says Mariusz Turski, vice-chairman of the board at Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczo¶ci (Academic Enterprise Incubators). "Thanks to this initiative, small companies starting up in Poland will be able to use legal copies of Microsoft software, which is sure to create a lot of excitement on the IT market. Until now, costs have held young entrepreneurs back from engaging in professional activity. The solutions offered by Microsoft will help boost Poland's competitiveness in this sector, but above all will facilitate the first steps in business for a lot of young and talented people."

Microsoft BizSpark's partners in Poland are the Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczo¶ci, Lewiatan Business Angels, Klaster Multimediów i Systemów Informacyjnych, (Multimedia and Information Systems Cluster,) Venture Incubator, StartUp-IT.pl and UBIK Business Consulting. The hosting partner for Poland is home.pl.
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