TechStars and Microsoft BizSpark Team Up to Offer Startups $60,000 in Cloud Services on Windows Azure
Jan. 30, 2012
TechStars taps Microsoft BizSpark Plus to give startups a head start.

BOULDER, Colo. — Jan. 30, 2012 — TechStars, recently recognized as the No. 1 startup accelerator in the world, and Microsoft Corp. are working together to help startups fast-track their businesses. TechStars today announced an enhanced relationship with Microsoft through the new BizSpark Plus program for accelerators and incubators. The enhanced program allows TechStars accelerators in Boulder, Colo.; Boston; New York; Seattle; and Texas to offer each of their startups up to $60,000 (U.S.) of Windows Azure compute and storage over a 24-month period, at no cost.

BizSpark Plus is an extension of the Microsoft BizSpark program, designed to accelerate the success of startups around the world. BizSpark Plus works through select incubators and accelerators such as TechStars to provide value-added products and services to high-potential startups. In addition to offering this to TechStars, Microsoft is making this offer available to all founders whose accelerator is part of the Global Accelerator Network, a network of nearly 40 high-quality accelerators from around the world that follow a model similar to TechStars.

“Our passion is helping startups succeed around the world by providing funding and mentorship from the best and brightest Internet entrepreneurs and investors on the planet. The enhanced relationship with Microsoft will allow us to provide our founders with even more valuable support and services,” said David Cohen, founder and CEO of TechStars. “Access to technologies such as Windows Azure and other software and services from Microsoft through the BizSpark Plus program gives our companies a leg up in the all-encompassing race to scale and succeed.”

TechStars has a wealth of experience working with tech startups around the world that are building products and services in the cloud. Cloud applications and smart devices are driving the new startup ecosystem, affording startups the ability to drive user adoption, scale their companies and generate financial returns with far less capital and much more quickly than ever before. Windows Azure offers a simple, comprehensive and powerful platform for the creation of Web applications and services.

“TechStars is a great partner with a proven track record of attracting world-class startups. We are excited at the opportunity to work together to help startups when they need it most, with the products, resources and connections they need the most,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. “Working with entrepreneurs on the forefront of the cloud revolution is especially rewarding. Windows Azure is a powerful, integrated platform, making it easy for startups to get their services up and running quickly with minimal overhead. This is the first offer from our new BizSpark Plus program, and we look forward to supporting TechStars members across a number of markets and technology offerings.”

About TechStars

TechStars (www.techstars.com) is an elite mentorship-driven start-up accelerator, recently recognized as the No. 1 accelerator program. Founded in 2006, the TechStars philosophy focuses on deep mentorship, and surrounding a small number of companies with highly engaged members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to coach and support them to success. The TechStars community currently includes more than 300 mentors, more than 1,500 investors and over 120 alumni TechStars companies. TechStars currently operates five programs each year in Boulder, Boston, Seattle, Texas, and New York. TechStars is funded by more than 50 venture capital firms and 25 angel investors. Information on applying to TechStars can be found at www.techstars.com/apply.

About Global Accelerator Network

The Global Accelerator Network (www.joingan.com) consists of almost 40 high quality independently owned and operated organizations from around the world that utilize a mentorship-based startup accelerator model. It provides networking opportunities, training, special perks, and ongoing support for members of the network. TechStars led the effort to form the Global Accelerator Network in 2010 as part of the White House’s Startup America Initiative. In the spirit of supporting more entrepreneurs around the world, the Network’s mission is to ensure that 5,000 successful and experienced entrepreneurs and investors will mentor and support 6,000 promising young entrepreneurs. The goal is to increase their success rate tenfold and create 25,000 new jobs by 2015 as well as a sustained engine for growing these figures over time.

About Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed. With more than 45,000 startups from 100 countries in the program and a global network of 2,300 BizSpark partners, Microsoft provides great business value to young technology companies around the world. The program provides a wide range of Microsoft technology, technical and business expertise, and enhanced market visibility. BizSpark Plus is an extension of the foundational BizSpark program, providing higher-value offerings through a network of leading regional incubators and accelerators around the world. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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