TechStars, recently recognized as the No. 1 startup accelerator in the world, and Microsoft 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.”
In addition to the new BizSpark Plus partnership, we are also working with TechStars on the Kinect Accelerator program. The Kinect Accelerator is a three month business incubation program which will be held in Seattle from March to June, 2012. The Kinect Accelerator is designed to support entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators to bring to life a wide range of business ideas that leverage the limitless possibilities Kinect enables. On Friday February 3rd, 2012 NERD will host a special (and free) event to provide a deeper overview of what the Kinect Accelerator will be like and what participants could expect if they are accepted into this program. To RSVP, please click here.