Microsoft Sign Asian start-ups on to BizSpark

Microsoft has already started signing up companies in Asia to its BizSpark program, which offers free software and developer tools to new companies around the world.

The U.S. software giant launched BizSpark earlier this week as a program aimed at helping startups develop new applications, particularly online services and hosted applications, on Microsoft software.

The program has already launched in South Korea, where several companies plan to sign on.

MintPass, a portable network device developer, plans to sign up for BizSpark to boost its development of Windows CE 5.0 Professional. Joon Young, founder of the company, is famous in South Korean tech circles for founding ReignCom, maker of popular iRiver digital music players.

He sees one more advantage in BizSpark than just the free access to software and tools. He believes MintPass can use it as a marketing tool as well, to build brand awareness and possibly for fund-raising. MintPass is seeking around US$10 million in new funding.

Local partners in BizSpark will help match companies to grants and investors.

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