Tutorial :BizSpark worth it? [closed]



Question:

http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2009/06/19/microsoft-bizspark-serving-15-000-startups-and-counting.aspx

Any recommendations on this topic ?


Solution:1

I heard about this a while back and thought that the "Network Partner" requirement was a little weird. Now, you don't have to do that. You can make your request directly to Microsoft without a network partner.

I think the network partner idea is good but it's poorly implemented. They do nothing to help introduce startups to partners that are willing to help.

I went ahead and signed up for the service a few weeks ago. You basically get a full MSDN subscription for free. That means you can get legitimate versions of Visual Studio, Expression, even operating systems for free.

I find it very helpful to have access to various Windows operating systems so I can test my software (I run a software startup, not a web startup) on various platforms.

After 3 years you just pay $100.

I would say, yes, it's worth it.


Solution:2

I know several people enrolled in this program. As long as you meet the requirements it seems like a good deal. 1. The startup must be less than three years old, 2. The startup company's revenue must be less than $1 million, 3. If the startup goes public, you are out of the program.

You do have to pay a $100 program fee but that is not due until you exit the program.


Solution:3

My personal experience and comment on this for startups is that microsoft are incredibly unhelpful, terminally slow in responding and answering emails and applications, there is no way to speak to a real person... no phone numbers, no address, no contact names... They specify simple criteria on the web site, but when you apply they say you are not eligible... and don't give a reason, if you then push and say why? the response you get is obvious that they have not even looked at your website let alone your business and what you are trying to do. So, as a result, I feel that they are offering the service for purely for good PR, but are actually in no way actually wanting to help startups, I have been 6 weeks emailing every few days, they have an auto responded which says they will answer in 2 business days and its been 6 weeks.... So I am getting nowhere... I don't think microsoft really want to help startups at all . Very disappointed and annoyed with them. I can't see how this approach to interacting with startups will work for them? My recommendation would be to pick somebody else and avoid Microsoft.


Solution:4

So I just went through the process of signing up and I have to say that if you are start-up building in the .Net stack then BizSpark is a no brainer. I especially love the free Azure credit and the exemption that you can use the benefit for production purposes whereas normal MSDN users can only use it for dev/testing purposes. This shows that Microsoft gets it and at this stage of the game it really helps our little initiative.

Throw into the mix Visual Studio online that allows up to 5 devs free and suddenly its really amazing to build something using MS tech if you are a small start-up.

Regarding the slowness, I initially had the same problem after signing up with my support emails being ignored and all that. After a few weeks on a whim I sent a hail mary to my country's BizSpark contact detail instead of the .com one and that made all the difference. I got an amazing response from the local team being phoned within a few hours of dropping the mail. By the end of the day my application was approved.

My only suggestion to Microsoft would be to throw in an Office365 benefit to host your start-up Emails since then you quite literally can start a 1-5 man company with zero infrastructure and tool overhead and obviously MS wins in the medium to long run since products get developed in their stack.

+1 Microsoft.


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