Here’s how it works: if you’re a web designer/developer delivering sites to customers and you have less than 10 employees, I can now sponsor you for the Microsoft WebsiteSpark program. And if you live in the U.S., Microsoft is sponsoring as of today those 130 six-month scholarships to StartupToDo.com (regular price: $105 for a six month subscription).
More info at: http://startuptodo.com/websitespark.
Even if you are perfectly content to be a professional web designer and have no intention of building your own software, I think you’ll find the 50 (and growing) Guides at S2D useful, as well as getting quick, useful feedback when you request Site Reviews from the community. And the Marketing Action Plans coming next month after Version 2 launches will work great for you too.
And even if you have no intention of leaving open source (I program in Ruby on Rails nowadays… ), it’s worth having a (nearly) free toehold in the Microsoft World because:
- You’ll be able to better work with prospective clients using ASP.NET,
- You’ve seen the new Microsoft Phone demo, and realize there’s going to be a lot of shall we say graphically-challenged (like me) developers looking for professional help soon. Especially if there’s another explosion of mobile apps as there was/is for the Apple iPhone and Google Android platform. (here’s a Mix10 session from Monday on this: Authoring for windows Phone, Silverlight 4 and WPF with Expression Blend)
- Speaking of Silverlight, version 4 developer release was just announced. If you haven’t looked at Silverlight in a while, things have changed: It prints. It can interact with the user’s desktop (PC or Mac). It supports Google Chrome. And a bunch of other stuff.
There are limitations on Microsoft WebsiteSpark – for example, you can either be in BizSpark or WebsiteSpark. And you have to reside in the United States to be eligible for the StartupToDo.com scholarships WebsiteSpark is sponsoring. And, there’s 130 scholarships available – when they’re filled, that’s it.
If you’re wondering if I can sponsor you instead for Microsoft BizSpark – I can and will. Just check out the requirements, email me or pick me as your Network Partner when you apply through the BizSpark site. You just might be 377th startup I’ll have sponsored for BizSpark .
That said, I’ve been working pretty hard to making the Microsoft WebsiteSpark StartupToDo.com Scholarships a reality because sometimes, all you need is just a bit of help and someone to believe in you to get your startup off the runway.