Easiest way for UK startup to get onto Microsoft BizSpark program?


For the past few days I have been trying and failing to get onto Microsoft's BizSpark program. I left my day job and incorporated last week and am now setting up my development machines. I really want to get BizSpark as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary expense or compromises with my toolset. I had thought this would be one of the easier steps of starting up.

Can anyone give me some tips for being accepted by this program? I have used a few services so far, only one of which is a BizSpark Network partner:

  • HSBC business banking - a BS Network Partner
  • a university science park for space in their incubator
  • Companies Made Simple (for incorporation)
  • various PC component and hardware suppliers

I have no need for any of the other partners' services at this time. So far I've tried applying once via HSBC and twice direct to Microsoft. I just get the standard rejection letter.

I have a company website (on an appropriate .com domain) with email addresses at the same domain. The website is a placeholder since we're not announcing our products widely at the moment. I have described our planned products in the application (or at least as well as one can in 500 words).

I would be very grateful to hear from UK companies who've been through this process or from anyone who can give me a contact at BizSpark in the UK. Alternatively if Microsoft is listening and can help me directly, that's even better!

UK Bizspark

asked Jun 21 '11 at 22:09
394 points
  • Can you give details about your business? There are rules about what types of startups BizSpark will and will not accept. – Alan Barber 13 years ago
  • @Alan My business is development and licensing of software modules (libraries) for multimedia processing. Mainly using C++ under the hood. – Paperjam 13 years ago
  • Ok that might be the issue. BizSpark is focused on end user/general public focused businesses. They say "Startups cannot be in the business of providing services to others such as hosting, Website development, system integration, IT support services or outsourced development." My guess is that developing a software library falls under their idea of "outsourced development". But try contacted your local DE. sometimes they can give you a recommendation to the program to get around requirements like that. – Alan Barber 13 years ago
  • @Alan: I thought I understood this requirement - they want "product" startups, not "service" startups. I will be selling a product - I do plan to sell directly to end users eventually so perhaps I need to spin that way in my BS application. – Paperjam 13 years ago
  • Was just accepted on 4th try in which I spelled out how my company satisfies each condition and included a link to my linkedin profile. Phew! – Paperjam 13 years ago
  • @paperjam Great news! Glad it worked out! – Alan Barber 13 years ago

2 Answers


Well you should probably get to be friends with your local Microsoft DEs (Developer Evangelists). They are always your best one stop shop for getting connected with any Microsoft programs like BizSpark as well as general support/help with MS tools.

Here is a link to MSDN that has the current UK DEs: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/ff978915 As for BizSpark it looks like a lady by the name of Bindi Karia is the current head of the UK BizSpark by looking at this blog: http://www.bizspark.com/Blogs/united_kingdom/default.aspx. So if you hit a wall with help from the DEs then maybe try connecting to her directly, but do work with your DEs first. They are very helpful resources to get to know.

answered Jun 21 '11 at 23:29
Alan Barber
406 points
  • Good answer. I recently had a friend who was complaining that he could not get into Bizspark Plus and that Microsoft was not answering his emails. My reply was Microsoft wants best companies, if you can't even work out how to get in touch with them, or get what you want, what chance do you have of getting in touch with your customers. – Amar Banwait 10 years ago


As far as I know you can simply apply at BizSpark.com - if your company qualifies, you should be done. Alternatively you can apply via a network partner. IIRC Rackspace UK is one.

answered Jun 22 '11 at 01:56
655 points

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