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TechTown selected to join Microsoft BizSpark Program

November 13, 2008

Global program advances the success of innovative startups committed to Microsoft's platform technologies

DETROIT, November 13, 2008-TechTown, the Wayne State University research and technology park, announces that it has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner. The BizSpark Program is a new global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage startups by connecting them to Network Partners, active members of the global software ecosystem who can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to BizSpark startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft, startups and Network Partners.

"TechTown formed this strategic relationship with Microsoft so that IT companies in the Detroit community can develop software more easily and affordably," TechTown Technical Director Judy Johncox said. "There currently aren't many resources available in Southeast Michigan for those companies. And the IT industry is very important right now, because of its potential for quick growth."

TechTown also is working to form a user society for technology professionals.

Microsoft is committed to encouraging innovation and helping entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses. To this end, the BizSpark Program provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable-during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

"We're excited to have great organizations such as TechTown as Network Partners," said Josh Holmes, Microsoft Architect Evangelist. "The unparalleled access to the Microsoft technologies combined with TechTown's services will help us realize BizSpark's goal of accelerating software startups to success and sustainability."

BizSpark gives startups fast and easy access to Microsoft's current full-featured development tools, platform technologies as well as production licenses to bring to market innovative and interoperable solutions for the next generation of users.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years, and have less than $1 million in U.S. revenue. Startups may enroll for the program by obtaining sponsorship from a designated BizSpark Network Partner, such as TechTown.

To apply for BizSpark by obtaining sponsorship through TechTown, visit http://techtownwsu.org/business/microsoft-bizspark.php.

ABOUT TECHTOWN
TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential entrepreneurial village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies so as to diversify and strengthen Michigan's economy in the fields of life sciences, advanced engineering and alternative energy. For more information, visit www.techtownwsu.org

5700 Cass Avenue, 3100 Academic Administration Building * Detroit, Michigan 48202
Phone (313) 577-2150 * Fax (313) 577-4459 * Newsline (313) 577-5345