How Selective is Bizspark?

John Shedletsky Founder

September 23rd, 2014

I'm interested in evaluating the MS stack for my new project.

I applied to Bizspark several months ago with a completely different project and got rejected. My application was weak (didn't even have a website up). I had assumed that Bizspark was a revolving door and MS just wanted to get .Net in the hands of startup developers because they have been historically weak in that market (for obvious reasons - getting the "grown up" versions of VS, SQL, etc is hellaexpensive).

I'm burning through my 200 Azure credits fairly quickly and I might jump ship and go self-hosted nodejs instead.

I'm in the prototyping phase. Is Bizspark intended for more mature startups than mine?

If so, exactly who are they targeting? If not, what parts of the application do they care about, so I can craft a winning one next time?

Monica Borrell CEO and Founder at Cardsmith

September 23rd, 2014

I think you mostly need a credible looking website on a domain name that ties to your business name.  the site doesn't have to be fancy -- ours was 1 page at the time we got accepted.  

Manuj Aggarwal

September 23rd, 2014

MS is in fact very eager to get people on their platform (in particular Azure). You need to present a decent case that you are working on a project which has potential to gain traction and make money. If you can present the case and prove that you will be using MS technologies; hosting them on Azure - there is a very good chance you will get in.
Alternatively get in touch with some Azure evangelists; Azure account managers etc. they should be able to assist you in getting your BizSpark enrollment. Good luck.

Rob G

September 23rd, 2014

john, feel free to DM me and i can introduce you to some people who run/have run the bizspark group. 

Ajit Gupta Entrepreneur

September 24th, 2014

Hi John, You just need to put a bit of effort in. They want to see you have email setup, simple website and that was about it. Thanks, Ajit Sent from Windows Mail

Bob Binder Member of Technical Staff at Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

September 24th, 2014

Hi John I'm a Bizspark member and happy with it. The freebies are well worth it and you have an entree to the MSFT "community" that is hard to achieve from scratch. Participants run the gamut from single developers to D-round firms. Speaking as technologist who's used just about every stack ever made, this is a case of pick your poison. I will say that MSFT is committed to and delivers on scalable technology. Although they were once fairly the target of technical contempt, that was long ago. You're probably doing some kind of mobile app. If so, the Xamarin integration does a nice job of bridging the gap from Windows to Android and iOS (two more parallel universes.) If you think Azure is expensive, shop around or try hosting your own private cloud. The root issue is which platform(s) will best enable your business model. That's not easily answered - there are many pros/cons to consider. You might find this of interest /

Scott Brittain CTO Snap Kitchen (We're hiring!)

September 24th, 2014

+1 to most of the prior recommendations.  One additional suggestion would be putting the MSFT related connection front and center in your application.  In our case, we wanted to add an MS Office Add In to our product family.

It wasn't a rapid approval (7-10days I recall), but we are in and it's a good asset.

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

September 25th, 2014

Hello John,

Follow Monica & Ajit suggestions. Bizspark is not selective at all, as long as your follow their requirements, which are reasonable. From our part, we are also Bizspark members. We used Azure and are happy with it. We did have an issue, on which our VM died, with not particular reason. Fortunately we had backups, which allowed us to remade the VM fairly quickly.


Aleksey Klempner

January 12th, 2015

Bizspark has different tiers. Basically, anyone who qualifies can easily signup for BizSpark. They are pretty selective about BizSpark plus. 
This one gives a lot more and really helps early stage startup. I was able to get it for a startup and hosting benefits for example pretty much make Azure free.