Sun on Wednesday extended its Startup Essentials programme beyond the US to the UK, as well as the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
According to Sun, the programme is designed to encourage the establishment and growth of small businesses by offering significant discounts on Sun hardware, web hosting from Sun's partners, technical support, open-source software, and other Sun products and services. Discounts can be as high as 60 percent.
The scheme was launched in the US a year ago and, six months later, it was rolled out in India and China.
"The programme has been very successful," said Juan Carlos Soto, vice president of market development at Sun. "So far, some 1,300 companies have joined it."
As part of its work in the UK, Sun is sponsoring the mashup "Being-Digital", a community discussion event for start-ups.
The scheme had already attracted a lot of interest prior to the UK launch, according to Soto. "We have had a lot of people asking us when we were going to launch over here," he said, "particularly among the venture [capital] companies. Despite what some people think, the UK has a very active community and there is a lot going on here." Web 2.0 is "attracting a lot of interest", he said.
Sun's scheme is not just for technology firms and the companies interested in joining are from "across industry", Soto said.