I understand that the program is an invite-only program. But surely, those companies that get invited somehow catch Microsoft's eye, out of some 30,000 companies that are in Bizspark program.
Does anyone know how/where can a startup request to be considered for Bizspark One program from Microsoft? I feel my company would be perfect, because our product implements one of the most hotly requested features from their cloud-computing platform Windows Azure and thus the synergy that they would provide for us would in turn help them and their customers, ten-fold.
The BizSpark One program is an invite-only program. Microsoft looks at startups with great potential and then invites them to participate in the program.
The criteria that Microsoft uses to invite startups to this program is not known in detail, but I would assume having traction and being a "known" startup definitely helps.
Also, you might want to try to contact and ask one of the participant companies, there is a complete list in the BizSpark One page.
I was interested by this question and the program, so I decided to find out more about it. I contacted one of the companies listed on the MS site. I wanted to find out a few things, if I could:
I will not reveal the name of the company but I just got off the phone with the head of marketing at one of the startups. She was very gracious with her time and the information and I really appreciate it.
Some answers and comments:
I asked at what point MS contacted them (revenue size, customer base, etc). The response was that they were very small and the only thing that likely caught their eye was the space they were in. I would imagine it was a very good choice for MS.
If I learn any more I will post it here, since the first question is still largely unanswered (and likely will remain so).
EDIT - after a chat with a BizSpark One participant from MS:
I spoke to a MS employee today - he was introduced to us by a BizSpark One company that I hassled. It was a great call. Yes, MS is looking for companies that they can work with to build both companies. From what I can remember the criteria is something like this:
Each vertical has some managers and they each identify companies they want to consider, then the companies "pitch" (I think) and the group gets together to decide which ones MS should bring on board.
It seems like a great program - good for everyone involved. Getting MS to take notice means you will have to have a pretty compelling product/service for their platform(s).
I think in addition to having a good product (the type that would attract VCs) you need to get noticed.
I guess the ways to do this are to be vocal on their linked in groups, tweet and blog relevant content, enter the various competitions / pitches, and ensure you build and maintain relationships with the relevant Microsofties.
Its not by invite, but MSFT uses outside firms to validate the legitimacy of your comapny to make sure you qualify.
https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/Startup/Signup.aspx use the above url to get signed up. The MSDN access alone is worth it!