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January 22, 2009 3:55 PM

The Pink Slip Special: Startup deals for laid-off Microsoft workers (updated)

Posted by Brier Dudley

As Seattle's startup community came to terms with the big cuts at Microsoft today, several vendors emerged with special deals to help laid-off 'softies start their own software companies.

Deals that surfaced today on the Seattle Tech Startups mailing list include:

-- StartPad.org's "Pink Slip Special," which offers laid-off workers 30 days' free use of its downtown Seattle offices, a pay-as-you-go space aimed at software startups.

"If there is one silver lining to the Microsoft layoffs, it may be the kick-in-the-pants that some employees needed to become entrepreneurs in their own right. We'd like to do our part to help with the transition,'' StartPad's Mike Koss wrote. "If you're one of the employees that have been laid off, or you see the writing on the wall and feel it's time to make the jump, we have a special deal for you."

-- Tacoma hosting company Blue Box Group, which offered 60 days' free use of a 512MB Linux-based virtual server to help laid-off Microsoft workers start a software project.

"Our Virtual Servers aren't a MS platform, but it provides a good opportunity to use your skills in a new arena and build something great," Blue Box's Jesse Proudman wrote.

Both extended the offer to Microsoft workers who have been salaried within the last four months and are thinking about building their own software product or service.

Any other offers out there to help "the 1,400" start something new?

UPDATE: Some helpful comments, plus Seattle entrepreneur Roy Leban suggests attending a "Startup Brainstorming Session" from 2-5 p.m. Feb. 5, also at StartPad.

From his invite announcement:

"The goal of the session is for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to have an opportunity to discuss their ideas with others in a supportive environment. If you come with an idea, I hope you walk away with an improved idea or an improved understanding of how you can make it real. If you come without an idea, I hope you walk away inspired."

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