We were so consumed with all things DEMO last week, that we almost overlooked Sun‘s announcement that it was expanding its “Startup Essentials” program to Canada, France, and Germany. The program gives developers substantial discounts on Sun hardware and software services in a bid for Sun to be the dominant platform for Web 2.0 applications and services.
Seeded in the U.S. in 2006 and expanded to China, India, Israel, and the U.K., the Startup Essentials program has had about 1,600 startups register to date, according to the company, with some 200 companies submitting new applications each month. Sun Startup Essentials is free to eligible companies, those in business fewer than four years and with less than 150 employees. In addition to deeply discounted hardware, participant companies have access to low-cost Web hosting services provided by Sun partners in the communities supported by the program, along with free technical support via e-mail. Sun also hosts occasional “Startup Camps” in key geographies; the next will be held in London in early March.
I talked with Sun’s director of Startups and Emerging Markets Sanjay Sharma about the program prior to the announcement, mostly curious about the country-by-country roll out of the program. After all, in the Web 2.0 world that Sun hopes to conquer, every application is potentially a global one. Why cherry-pick regions when a program like this can blanket the planet with electronic resources? Continue reading