In November 2008, we launched Microsoft BizSpark, a three-year program that helps world-wide early-stage startups succeed by providing them the technical resources they need to build successful businesses.

After two years, BizSpark has enrolled over 35,000 startups and 2,000 Network Partners, and the response to the program has been extremely positive.  These startups are often early adopters of our technology, so helping them also helps us understand what these innovators really need from us.

Thousands of BizSpark startups are entering their third and final year of the program and are now wondering, "What happens after three years?"  Based on feedback from startups around the globe, we are announcing the BizSpark Graduation Offer, available starting November 2011, when the first BizSpark startups complete three years in the program.

The BizSpark Graduation Offer allows BizSpark startups to keep, at no charge, all the software they acquired through the BizSpark program. They also have an option to purchase a subscription or maintenance program so they can stay up-to-date when future releases are available.

After three years in the program, we will waive the $100 exit fee and offer the following:

  • Startups can renew their MSDN subscriptions at any level, starting at $935 per developer for two years. MSDN renewals also include Windows Azure benefits.
  • Startups can purchase the first two years of Microsoft Software Assurance at a 50% discount. Microsoft Software Assurance provides upgrades and ongoing maintenance for server licenses.

Under the graduation offer, the MSDN Ultimate licenses that came with BizSpark are perpetual, so startups keep all the tools and platform software they got from the program for development and testing purposes, including Visual Studio and Expression. If startups want to keep that software updated and get ongoing MSDN support, they can choose to renew at any level.

Graduating startups also have perpetual rights to all of their Windows and SQL Server production licenses. If they want to keep that software current, startups can purchase a two-year subscription to Microsoft Software Assurance at a 50% discount for the first two years.

Microsoft's success depends upon our partners' success. The BizSpark program is a crucial component of our vast partner ecosystem and we are committed to building long-term relationships with BizSpark startups.  You can find out more about the BizSpark Graduation Offer here.

Namaste!