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7th January 2009

PEER 1 Selected to Join Microsoft BizSpark Programme

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Global Programme Fosters the Success of Innovative Startups with Scalable, Flexible Web Hosting Options from PEER 1

peer1 Vancouver – PEER 1 Network Enterprises, Inc., a leading provider of online IT infrastructure, has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark programme as a Network Partner. The BizSpark programme is a new global programme designed to help accelerate the success of early stage startups by connecting them to Network Partners: active members of the global software ecosystem that can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to BizSpark enrolled startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft Corp., startups and Network Partners.

“As a hosting Network Partner for BizSpark we provide the highly flexible and scalable hosting environment needed for startups as well as small to mid-size businesses,” said Lee Hadsock, channel sales manager for PEER 1. “This represents an additional channel to attract promising new companies with rapid growth potential that will require the high performance network and advanced technical support that PEER 1 provides.”

With more than 10,000 customers, PEER 1 has worked with many startups that began as small, unknown, online companies and are now some of the most popular Internet sites; these include YouTube and PlentyofFish.com. Understanding the unique development needs of online businesses as well as the complexities of hosting and internet infrastructure means that PEER 1 can help companies to succeed with the BizSpark programme.

Microsoft is committed to helping entrepreneurs to transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses and to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism. To this end, the BizSpark programme provides startups with software, support and visibility at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable — during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

“We understand the difficulties startups face in trying to create a viable, scalable and sustainable business, especially in today’s economy,” said John Zanni, general manager of the worldwide software plus services industry for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Microsoft BizSpark provides startups with a unique opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of the breadth of the Microsoft platform, our global partner ecosystem and new ways to gain market exposure.”

BizSpark gives startups fast and easy access to Microsoft’s current full-featured development tools, platform technologies as well as production licenses to bring to market innovative and interoperable solutions for the next generation of user experiences.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark programme, startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years, and have less than USD$1M in revenue. Startups may enroll for the programme by obtaining sponsorship from a designated BizSpark Network Partner.

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