Introducing Microsoft Bizspark


I have been waiting for this post for a long time… 5 months ago, I moved to Seattle with wife and kid, after 3 years at MS France, to join a great team and launch a new initiative from Microsoft called BizSpark, a global program designed to help accelerate the success of early stage software Startup



This is a new partner program for startups, available today in 82 countries. In a nutshell, Startups generating less than 1m$ and younger than 3 years can get, right now:


Development tools for their whole dev teams: VS08, TFS, etc..

Unlimited production licenses of server products: Windows server 2008, SQL Server 2008, MOSS, Exchange, CRM, Biztalk, etc..

– Access to Azure’s CTP and other Live Services


– Professional technical support from Microsoft, including MSDN Subscriptions

– Community Support from ‘network Partners’


– Each startup will be able to create a company profile on (a place where potential investors, clients, partners look for opportunities, wwde)

– Every day, Microsoft will highlight the Startup of the day, the most innovative and promising company that we have identified in the world that day.

There is no upfront cost, startups only have to pay 100$ at graduation, after 3 years. No commitment. Startups can leave the program anytime.



Concretely, it means that any early stage startups (as defined below) can get the latest dev tools from Microsoft, and build Software applications on our server platforms and make a living out of it, grow as big as possible, without paying any software fee. For 3 years. After 3 years, for an ISV, the cost of software represents less than 10 % of the datacenter/hosting costs. It s not significant.

We have also signed up hosters, in 82 countries, who will host ‘BizSpark startups apps’ without charging them for the software fees.

Startups get access to BizSpark either through a Network Partner (e.g. TiE, NVCA, select Venture Capitalists, and over 300+ entrepreneurial-focused organizations with a strong track record at helping young and promising technology companies success)  or through Microsoft BizSpark Program Leads (called “BizSpark Champs”). Startups can find both at

In the US, partners like TechStars, KPCB, Angel Capital Association or the European Business Angel Network are on board with us. In france, we have Inria transfert, the incubator of the French ENST, Altaide, Banexi ventures, the French Software Business angels Associations, Olivier Ezratty, l’IE Club and many others

BizSpark is the result of seven years spent getting feedbacks from ISVs, startups and competitive ISVs through the IDEES and Startup Accelerator programs. This is something that early stage software companies have been expecting for a long time. We believe it’s the right program, at the right time and we hope this will boost software entrepreneurship and ultimately, bring new innovative software solutions on the market.


A partner of mine called it the ‘Rolls Royce ‘of software development, and the must-have kit for any software entrepreneur. Successful internet companies and ISVs like Myspace, Loopt, Jajah,, ZocDoc, Xobni, OpenTable or Inspirational Stores, Criteo, Dismoiou, Excentive, Miyowa, brainsonic in france.. Built their businesses on our platforms. Starting today, small companies and garage-style startups can get the same tools than the big guys.

This is a very generous package, without any comparison in the industry, offering software AND technical/marketing support for software entrepreneurs, with the support of a huge community of experts.

If you want to join as a startup or a network partner, please visit or send me an email/leave a comment

Check out who’s the startup of the day and profile your company on, if you want to be highlighted too, write to

Follow us on twitter and Facebook

We’ve been working hard, and we Hope you’ll like it J


12 responses to “Introducing Microsoft Bizspark

  1. Congrats, hope everything’s gonna be fine !

  2. Pingback: Show #4: Microsoft’s BizSpark, Balsalmiq Studio. « The Startup Success Podcast

  3. Well done sir!

  4. Pingback: Microsoft lance BizSpark, un programme d’aide aux start-ups, à la Cantine |

  5. Pingback: Microsoft BizSpark for Startups « ‘Cross The Breeze

  6. As one of the first companies signed up, we’re very excited about what the program might mean to our growth and development at Silent Dispatch, where we’re developing the next generation of ground transportation / mobile workforce software as a cloud computing application. Investor inquiries welcome!

  7. Pingback: Opinions Libres - Le blog d'Olivier Ezratty

  8. Hello BizSpark Support,

    Our company, CodeDenver LLC, may be interested in becoming a network partner for your BizSpark program and posting the BizSpark information on our blog. This appears to be in-line with our vision of helping startups obtain the benefits needed to build a technical foundation on the Microsoft platform rather than look to free open-source tools where upfront costs are perceived as trivial. This program is very exciting for companies and through solid execution will ensure companies take a second look at using Microsoft tools and technologies.

    We have reviewed the BS Startup EULA and would like to ensure we have not misinterpreted the document. Our company is knowledgeable in Microsoft’s licensing programs. We have a few question regarding BizSpark and need to make sure we understand the program in detail:

    1. Since Visual Studio Team Suite is a software benefit, how many developers/employees are licensed under the BS program? For example, the Empower program licenses 5 developers to use Visual Studio 2008.
    2. It appears that BizSpark EULA DOES cover internal use for Office 2007. Please confirm.
    3. It appears that a network file server/print server/email server/Sharepoint server are NOT covered (i.e. under Empower, company receives 5 CALS and 1 server license for Windows 2008 Server, SQL Server, Sharepoint and Exchange). Please confirm these products are NOT covered under the BS EULA.

    a. If the above products are NOT covered , does Microsoft recommend an Action Pack or Empower subscription along-side the BizSpark membership to ensure the company is covered for internal use?
    b. Or is Microsoft recommending that the company purchase licenses for internal-use software (I.E. Windows 2008 Server, SQL Server, Sharepoint and Exchange)

    4. Is a company prohibited from having a concurrent Action Pack subscription and BizSpark membership?

    Thank you,

    Jim Bishop

  9. I’ve been trying to join the biz spark program directly through microsoft for over a week. Someone responded to me and asked if I met the criteria, I responded with an email that I did and then recieved an email saying that I had been denied without a reason. I saw your mix 09 video and wanted to join the program. I assure you that It’s privately held, we make less than 1M USD in annual revenue, and I’m actively engaged in the development process.

    Any help would be appreciated as I’m holding off on some work items until I can join the program.

    Can you send me an invitation code?

    Thanks, feel free to email if you have questions,

  10. We’ve tried for several months now. Out support emails and contacts have all been ignored. They just say we must have entered ambiguous information, which we have not. We are heading over to Linux instead, since MS doesnt want to help the smaller startups.


  11. Pingback: Microsoft BizSpark – ISV Startup Support On Steroids – Sign Me Up! | The Recursive ISV

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