Azure for Startups
Help from Azure
You’ve already found out that a good way to start is to release an MVP with the help of free products provided by some of the biggest cloud providers. The free resources offered by Azure are divided into 2 categories: those that are always free and those that are free for 12 months (depending on the subscription). After your free period is over, you need to switch to the pay-as-you-go plan.
Azure offers two types of free accounts (subscriptions):
Free subscription: when you choose this subscription, you get a $200 monetary credit to spend on any Azure service for the first 30 days, and the most popular Azure products are free for 12 months.
Student subscription: you get a $100 monetary credit to spend in the first 12 months and free developer tools. You also don’t have to provide your credit card info while signing up, you just need to prove your identity by using your student email account.
What you get for free, always
Azure App Service (10 web, mobile or API apps with 10GB storage)
Azure DevOps (max. 5 users with unlimited Git repositories)
Azure Kubernetes Service
Azure Functions (1 million requests)
Azure Cosmos DB (25 GB storage with 1000 requests per second)
What you get for free for 12 months
Azure SQL database (250GB instance with 10 database transaction units)
Azure Virtual Machines
Disk, blob and file storage (5GB of locally redundant storage)
Microsoft for Startups
Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a platform for startups to hit their next milestone with the help of free access to technology, resources, coaching and support. It is highly encouraged to apply even when the only thing you have is an idea. The application lasts about 10 minutes and the requirement is a LinkedIn account. After that, Microsoft checks whether the acceptance criteria have been met and reaches out to the applicants. New users are being accepted on a rolling basis.
What do you get as a member of the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub?
Visual Studio Code and GitHub for developer collaboration,
Experienced mentors who are experts in the industry and technology of your choice who help validate your idea,
Microsoft 365 tools including Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, Word,
Up to $150,000 in credits on Microsoft Azure that grow as your needs increase.
The requirements to apply for the program include many things. Your startup:
Must be a software-based product whose development you are engaged in. This software has to be owned, not licensed,
Hasn’t received more than $10,000 in free Azure,
Is privately held,
Resides in the countries covered by Azure global infrastructure,
Is a for-profit business etc.
Customer success: InfoTiles
InfoTiles is a company from Norway which is one of the greatest success stories of Microsoft for Startups. It’s a cloud streaming service used for collecting, processing, analyzing and visualizing data in real time. Their main target industries are public services and utilities, e.g. water, sewage and recycling.
InfoTiles joined the Microsoft for Startups program in 2019. They received $120,000 in free credit to use on the Azure platform for 2 years. Due to their commitment to a proactive approach and working with Microsoft, they’ve become one of the largest IP co-sell deals in fiscal year 20 in Western Europe (among other startups). Recently, they partnered with Norwegian VC ProVenture and invested 15 million NOK. One of the main reasons for the company’s success, according to InfoTiles, was a strong partnership with Microsoft.
Is this enough?
Now you’ve learned about what Microsoft Azure has to offer. As mentioned in the article about AWS, using only the free services isn’t enough to become a billionaire. To grow your company, it’s not a sufficient solution; as time passes, you will probably have to invest in a pay-as-you-go subscription. There’s also the option to apply for the Microsoft for Startups program. It’s a great solution, but unfortunately, the chance you will get selected isn’t very high. Planning your startup’s future is the most important, including choosing the cloud provider and the available solutions. Hopefully, this series of articles gave you some inspiration to start your journey.