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Microsoft, Compaq, Intel Announce $7 Million Program

[Toronto, CANADA] Microsoft Canada, Compaq Canada and Intel Canada have launched speedStart, a $7 million Canadian program specifically designed to accelerate speed-to-market for Internet startup or dot-com companies.

The program will help Canadian dot-coms rapidly deploy proven, scalable, and reliable e-business solutions using Compaq, Microsoft and Intel technologies.

speedStart offers dot-coms the products, services, and resources they need to help their growing businesses reach their goals.

"Emerging Canadian IT companies need the support of business and technology leaders in order to have a better chance at being viable," said Mary Macdonald, president of Macdonald & Associates, a Toronto-based information firm specializing in the venture capital and private equity markets.

"It is encouraging to see initiatives like speedStart, where startups can take advantage of technology, funding, and expertise to develop solid e-commerce applications right out of the gate."

The program also includes access to the Microsoft Technology Center, a development laboratory that boasts a hardware- and software-rich setting configured to match each customer's deployment environment, located in Toronto's downtown core.

"speedStart offers Canadian dot-coms a wealth of knowledge and experience in the technologies that power success on the Internet," said Frank Clegg, president of Microsoft Canada.

"By taking advantage of the speedStart program and the Microsoft Technology Center facilities, startups have a golden opportunity to test their business applications. What sets this program apart is that we also have the support of the Canadian venture capital community -- including organizations such as the NRG Group and OnX.com -- as well as our extended partners, such as Microforum, Tractionworks and VentureCluster."

"This broad support across the industry will ensure that Canadian startups have excellent guidance and technology at their disposal."