Microsoft to bring BizSpark to beleaguered mid-west


26 Jan 2009

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Start-ups in Ireland’s mid-west, the region most affected by Dell’s decision to cut 1,900 jobs, will be offered the chance by Microsoft to take part in the BizSpark business acceleration programme.

“Mid-west technology start-ups will benefit from a new innovative programme – Microsoft  BizSpark – designed to help accelerate the success of early stage businesses by providing key resources when they need it most,” said Donnacha Hughes, manager of enterprise acceleration at Limerick Institute of Technology’s business incubation facility.

The incubation facility recently signed up as a network partner in the Microsoft BizSpark programme, which gives access to current, full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licences of server products allied to professional technical and expert business support.

According to Hughes, there has been significant interest in this new programme from clients of the Enterprise Acceleration Centre and other software start-ups in the region.

A networking event has been organised to provide information on the programme. 

Hughes said eligibility requirements for the global programme are extremely minimal: a business will qualify if it is a privately held company building a software-based product or service (even using open source code), has been in business for less than three years and has less than US$1m in annual revenue.

Microsoft Ireland will launch its BizSpark programme in the mid-west at a two-hour evening seminar on 5 February, hosted by the Enterprise Acceleration Centre.

Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Software Association will also address the event, which will focus on key issues for software companies and the supports that are available to fast-track their development.

“There is a range of supports available for software companies from technical, business support, financial and, of course, networking,” Hughes said.

By John Kennedy

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