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700 Kiwi startups and counting have joined BizSpark in New Zealand to launch their solutions. The BizSpark program and Startup Weekend have a bit of special history together: all new startups who are forged in the fires of Startup Weekend can be fast tracked through BizSpark. Startup Weekend superstars TranscribeMe are testament to this beautiful relationship, but also check out Wipster and Timely for a small insight into other successful local BizSpark startups. Startup Weekend Auckland is a highlight for the NZ team who, over the last five years, have spent their days at the coal face of NZ’s growing tech-ecosystem, helping to hoist our technical reputation up onto the world stage.

Across all startups, the free cloud benefits are the most popular part of the three year program – US$150/month for 3 years and US$5k/month for a year as part of BizSpark Plus. But everyone is quick at making the most of the technical support and access to all Microsoft software. There’s also support for things that start to matter more and more as you get on your feet, like marketing and business matters. If you have a startup and you’re a little curious, the NZ team are a friendly bunch. Introduce yourself via cyberspace or they’ll be there in person at Startup Weekend (they’ll also have some goodies on them too).

Meanwhile follow  @bizspark and feel free to do a bit of reading here too: http://www.microsoft.co.nz/getstarted

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Jenny Xu