Rejected by Biz Spark because they said I'm not an ISV


I have seen quite a few threads on being rejected by Biz Spark, but all seemed to be resolved by resubmitting the application with the needed undocumented information. To note, the undocumented information is usually that your email domain doesn't match your site name, or you don't have any specific info on the project. I'm at the point where I've done all of that, and described the entire project in the 2500 char limit (giving away my whole idea, which is what makes this project unique), yet I'm at the same spot - rejection with the generic letter for the 4th time. There is no info for the generic letter - only that you do not meet the requirements, and to resubmit the application if you feel that you do meet them.

About my business, I started this project for my Master's project last year using DreamSpark. It gained huge market interest, but the master's project is only a prototype. There is much work needed to be done, but I cannot afford to purchase MSDN licenses at this point, since there is no business revenue, and it's in a prototype state. So I started the official LLC in August, and am doing all development locally. The business is an automotive communication means dealing with the a smart-phone app, web UI, web API, and SQL Server database. I gave my whole schema away to them because after each rejection, I continue to give more and more info.

I did email Biz Spark with a nice, polite email asking if they could give me more information. Their reply included "Your startup does not appear to be an ISV. Startups cannot be in the business of providing services to others such as consulting, hosting, web agency, system integration or outsourced development as a part of the BizSpark Program."

I politely responded "Thank you" and resubmitted the application making sure to emphasize that my company has nothing to do with any of the items she mentioned. That is also why I gave the business plan and schema - to prove I created the MRD, SRS, design docs, etc myself, and am doing all the development on my own - but need to hire staff because the amount of work is overwhelming.

It's getting so frustrating because I want to work with Microsoft, but they seem to not want to have anything to do with me. I'm even a senior .NET engineer for one of the largest Microsoft partners for my day job.

The main purpose of writing this is to see if anyone else had gone through this scenario, or if I'm simply missing something obvious. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Application Microsoft Bizspark

asked Oct 22 '13 at 15:48
1 point
  • I think on there is an active member of the BizSpark team. Try searching for questions there and see if you can find the user to send a specific Q to. – S Hewitt 6 years ago
  • There is no real way for us to answer this question. Microsoft is the firm that has rejected your application. Only you and Microsoft know what's in the application. Judging by all the responses here and elsewhere about the Biz Spark program, it sounds like you have done soemthign wrong, but we can't fix that for you. – Gary E 6 years ago

2 Answers


Most likely there was a valid reason Microsoft rejected your BizSpark application. We don't know what you submitted and even if we did, we can't read Microsoft's mind.

So: re-read Biz Sparks rules, see which ones your application might be breaking.

Reach out to Microsoft, maybe they'll explain why the application was rejected.

But all you can get from anyone else is just mostly useless speculation.

As a side note: you provided a lot of irrelevant information but not the one that actually matters (i.e. what exactly Microsoft said in rejection).

It also seems to me like you've submitted irrelevant information to Microsoft (e.g. I doubt they want detailed info on your project).

answered Oct 22 '13 at 17:15
Krzysztof Kowalczyk
1,950 points
  • Thanks for the reply. That is my problem too though - I cannot read Microsoft's mind either, which is why I'm at a loss for the rejections. I don't know how many times I've re-read Biz Sparks rules, and each time, it seems like there's no questions about each category. And to address your note about irrelevant info but not what matters - maybe you're not familiar with the rejection process, but I did mention that they are giving me the same generic letter that they give to everyone. There is never a reason they give, only that you do not meet the criteria. This is the primary point. – User28367 6 years ago


I'm in BizSpark, and honestly got approved first time around.

Few points,

Make sure you have an application, BizSpark isn't really for content driven sites, you need to emphasize this on the application. Although Microsoft does have a website based program called website spark Second, make sure the application looks professional, don't get too technical, describe more of your overall goal. For example, developing an application to allow businesses to operate more efficiently, etc

Third, and pretty obvious, make sure all docs, etc are included. Fill out ALL the fields and "cross the Ts, and dot the i".

Worst comes to worst, simply send them a NICE email asking whether there was anything specific you may have missed in the application that led to denial

answered Oct 23 '13 at 02:54
820 points
  • Thanks for the info. WebsiteSpark looks pretty cool but seems to not have the tools we need. At first, I made the application professional and more so an overview, but it was rejected. Each subsequent application had more and more detail, to the point of giving away the whole schema. I'm going to add more detail to my original post because I need to clear things up and I don't think that some other users are aware of the BizSpark process, besides approval. – User28367 6 years ago

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