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Microsoft Works With Startup America Partnership to Support Entrepreneurs

Alliance helps Startup America Partnership provide more resources to software startups across the country.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced its support for the Startup America Partnership by making the benefits of the Microsoft BizSpark program easily accessible to Startup America Partnership's qualified software startups. In the future, Microsoft will add new benefits targeted at the broader Startup America Partnership community.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

The Startup America Partnership was launched in January at the White House to help entrepreneurs start and grow companies by leveraging the resources of the private sector. President Barack Obama is scheduled to have a town hall meeting in Palo Alto, Calif., later today, which will be followed by an update on the initiative, featuring prominent new partner companies and entrepreneurs benefiting from its products, programs and services.

"Microsoft has been a longstanding and active participant in the entrepreneurial community and has formidable assets to contribute to the success of the Startup America Partnership," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and founding board member of the Startup America Partnership. "Thousands of young entrepreneurs and technology companies have already benefited from its programs."

The Microsoft BizSpark program is designed for organizations developing software-based products. For qualified companies, it provides access to Microsoft's extensive software portfolio free of charge for three years with support. Participants also are connected to a global network of mentors, partners and investors. Since its launch in November 2008, it has attracted more than 38,000 startups around the world, 13,000 of which are based in the United States.

"Microsoft is an entrepreneurial company at heart, and we recognize that today's startups are tomorrow's customers and partners," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president for Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft. "We look forward to welcoming thousands of new companies to the Microsoft BizSpark program, and we're pleased that our U.S.-based members will have access to the growing resources offered through the Startup America Partnership."

The Microsoft BizSpark program is part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program, which focuses on solving societal challenges and creating opportunity through jobs, innovation and philanthropy. Through Unlimited Potential, Microsoft also supports the entrepreneurial student developer community with its Imagine Cup and Microsoft DreamSpark student programs.

Established in 2003, Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition, where students join together and use technology to find solutions to real-world problems. This year, more than 74,000 students registered for the competition in the U.S., all for a right to compete at the Worldwide Finals in July in New York City. Launched in 2008, the DreamSpark student program provides no-cost access to Microsoft designer and developer tools for students and educators around the world to develop technical skills.

More information about Microsoft's involvement with the Startup America Partnership is available at http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark. More information about DreamSpark and Imagine Cup is available at https://www.dreamspark.com and http://www.imaginecup.com.

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

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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