#BizSparkChat

Accelerate your startup with BizSpark & Microsoft Azure

Check all that apply:

Free cloud services with Microsoft Azure

  • $150/month in Azure credits for 3 years. Use it for:
    • Virtual Machines - Windows & Linux
    • Websites & Web Apps - .ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, & Ruby.
    • Mobile Services - Windows, iOS, Android & Web - Identity, Notifications, Storage & more
    • ...and more! - Active Directory, Media Services, Services Buses, SQL Servers, etc.

Free Microsoft Developer Tools & Services for 3 years

  • 4 MSDN Ultimate Subscriptions (~$13,000 each)
    • Windows
    • Visual Studio Ultimate
    • Office 2013
    • Office 365 Developer Subscription
    • Team Foundation Server
    • Developer Store accounts
    • & more

Ask a question or join the conversation.

#BizSparkChat is a conversation led by Microsoft Technical Evangelists. Join us on Friday, 12-1pm CDT

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Not sure if you qualify or maybe you have questions about getting deployed to Microsoft Azure? Find a local Microsoft Evangelist.

I've still got questions...

What is BizSpark?

Microsoft BizSpark is a program designed to give Microsoft software to software development start-ups for free. If you’re creating software you are an entrepreneur; you are investing time and sometimes money to create software and get it in front of users. Entrepreneurs are startups – new companies, even if it’s only as a sole proprietor. And for software startups, Microsoft has BizSpark.

How do I sign up for BizSpark?

Check out Bret Stateham's excellent tutorial on enrolling in BizSpark. Bret covers the steps required to enroll, as well as easy to follow instructions on activating your Microsoft Azure and Windows Store Developer benefits.

Why would I join? What do I get?

First, you get access to a Visual Studio Ultimate MSDN subscription. Through MSDN you can claim keys and download installers/iso images for a massive amount of Microsoft software.

Depending on your startup, you may be more interested in the Azure credits.

You also get access to Microsoft evangelists. We'll help with networking and exposure where we can. We host office hours that can discuss anything from a technical issue to monetization strategies. In short, we're here to help you.

Why does Microsoft do this? What do you get out of it?

Microsoft believes that by helping startups succeed we’re helping to build a valued long-term partnership. Together we can build a more vibrant global software economy. BizSpark helps startups by providing access to Microsoft software when you most need it and can least afford it

Who is eligible?

• Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that will form a core piece of your current or intended business. • Your company is privately held, and in business for less than 5 years. • Has less than US $1 million in annual revenue S-Corp, C-Corp, LLC, and even Sole Proprietorship are all valid. It's a global program with large international availability.

Does Microsoft take equity?

Nope. We want to reduce your costs and accelerate your business.

Can I run my own virtual machines?

We've got your Windows & Unix needs covered with Windows Server 2008 & 2012, Ubuntu, CentOS & SUSE which can all be easily and automatically deployed in minutes from the Virtual Machine gallery. Need a full stack or different OS? Check out vmdepot.msopentech.com a community driven catalog of preconfigured operation systems, applications and development stacks.

I make mobile apps (iOS, Android, or Windows). Why do I need this?

Your apps probably have web components or backends that power them. You can leverage Microsoft Azure Mobile Services as a Backend-as-a-Service to power your mobile app. Add structured storage, user authentication and push notifications to your Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, Android or iOS app in minutes. Turn your user generated data into an API. There are tons of interesting scenarios.

I make games. Why do I need this?

Do you host a website? You can take advantage of BizSpark.

If you’re developing a multiplayer game, Azure can help you here.

If you're developing cross-platform mobile games, look at Microsoft Azure Mobile Services to help with identity & push notifications.

I’m already hosting on another provider (AWS, Rackspace, etc).

That’s fine.

The BizSpark program does not require that you move over your production environments to Azure. Obviously, we believe strongly that Azure can help you. Your BizSpark Azure benefit is yours to use however you choose.

There’s no other way to say this except that you have at least $150/month of Azure benefits available to you. If you’re not convinced, we encourage you to utilize our cloud platform for QA, dev, or even basic website hosting. Use these credits to offset cost. We trust that our product will speak for itself.

With your Microsoft Azure benefits that are included in BizSpark you can easily and quickly setup a website using .NET, PHP, node.js or use the Wizard to setup a site running Wordress, Drupal, Umbraco, .DotNetNuke, DasBLog and more!

My startup is growing. Fast! Can Azure handle the scale?

Managing a lot of data w/ escalating costs? Your startup may be eligible for our Microsoft Azure 60k Offer.

I use open source technologies.

We do too!

Seriously. Odds are you’re able to run your stack, no matter what it is on Azure.

What happens to the licenses after three years or after you make a million dollars?

You keep them. Forever!

There is a graduation process that occurs when you’ve been in the BizSpark program for 3 years or if you reach $1 million in annual revenue before then. It consists of answering some questions and providing feedback. Do that and you get to keep every key for full commercial use.

So, what might cause my startup to get rejected?

You have a vague Website or no website at all. Your website is one of the primary ways the BizSpark team validates your startup. If it's not clear what you do and what you are building, you will likely get denied. If you're in "stealth mode", connect with a Microsoft evangelist to get your code.

Are you consulting? Companies that otherwise seemingly meets the requirements but who's company is focused on consulting (building software for clients) are not eligible for BizSpark. You must be building your own technical IP/software/apps as the primary business of your startup.