A new initiative from The ICEHOUSE and Creatitve HQ and backed by will see $60,000 in cloud services available to help high potential start ups fast-track their businesses through the new BizSpark Plus programme.
BizSpark Plus will allow the incubators to offer free cloud computing services on the Windows Azure platform across two years. A further discounted subscription will be available after the two year period. .
The offer is an extension of the Microsoft BizSpark programme, which provides start ups with free software and support services for three years.
"We are passionate about helping start ups succeed by providing access to funding and mentorship from New Zealand's best and brightest entrepreneurs and investors. The relationship with Microsoft New Zealand will allow us to provide our clients with even more valuable support and services,” The ICEHOUSE CEO, Andy Hamilton (pictured), says.
Creative HQ CEO, Steve O’Connor, says it is encouraging to see large companies like Microsoft investing in start ups.
"Microsoft was a start up once and it can clearly see the value in nurturing today’s up and coming companies”.
"We see a huge amount of support from investors and serial entrepreneurs who want to back these early stage ventures, and to have Microsoft putting some serious grunt behind them for three years is further endorsement that the New Zealand startup community is coming into its own,” says O’Connor.
Cloud applications and smart devices are a focal point of the new startup ecosystem, giving start ups the ability to drive user adoption, scale their companies and generate financial returns with far less capital, more quickly than previously possible.
Creative HQ alumni Avancert.com, a Wellington-based online assessment and examination technology start up, is one of the first two companies in New Zealand to be accepted into Microsoft's BizSpark Plus program.
"Being accepted into BizSpark Plus is something we're very proud of," says Avancert CEO Sean Davidson. "It validates our business as up there with the best and gives us 'on demand' access to technology infrastructure that we can scale up as our business grows."
"Having access to the Windows Azure cloud platform means we can have hundreds of extra servers running our application for just a few hours and only have to pay for that usage. That's great for end of term exam scenarios for example and enables us to make computer based assessment easy and affordable for everyone.”
For more information go to http://www.microsoft.com/BizSpark/Plus