Q: What is BizSpark?
A: Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving them free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software, and support.
Q: What happened to BizSpark?
A: In February 2018, BizSpark was replaced by the Microsoft for Startups program.
Q: What is going to happen to my current BizSpark benefits?
A: If you are currently in good standing in the BizSpark program you won’t see any changes to your access and benefits.
Q: Can I still apply for BizSpark?
A: We are no longer accepting new startups into the BizSpark program. Please see Microsoft for Startups to learn about our current startup offering
Q: How can I apply for the Microsoft for Startups program?
A: Microsoft for Startups is an exclusive program for Seed and Series A startups. Please contact your program director to see if you qualify
Q: What if I have questions about one of my offers through BizSpark? How can I get more help?
A: BizSpark is a technology enablement program. If you have specific product questions, the fastest way to receive support is to reach out directly to the respective product support teams outlined below.
- Get help with Azure. Go to https://portal.azure.com and sign into the Azure Portal
- Get help with Visual Studio. Go to https://my.visualstudio.com and sign into the portal
- Contact O365 Support via O365 Admin Portal. Go to https://www.office.com and sign in with your account
- If you need more help visit the BizSpark program forums
Q: When I try to log into the BizSpark program portal using the link provided in the email I get asked to provide an enrollment code, what should I do?
A: You must use the email address your startup used to sign up for BizSpark (your MSA/LiveID) to log into the portal. Try logging into the BizSpark program portal using your MSA/LiveID.
Q: Do the new terms mean you are extending the BizSpark program?
Q: How do I sign in to BizSpark
A: Select the sign in link at the top of the BizSpark homepage. When prompted, enter the Microsoft Account you use to access BizSpark offers.
Q: How do I change who has Administrator privileges?
A: At this time, the Administrator for your company cannot be changed.
Q: How do we assign the five Visual Studio subscriptions that are available in our membership?
A: Your Startup Administrator has the ability to assign the Visual Studio Subscriptions that are included in your Startup's BizSpark membership. The BizSpark Administrator will need to sign into My BizSpark and then click Offers tab. The Administrator can use the Revoke option to disable a subscription. Revoked subscriptions cannot be reactivated or assigned to another employee.
Q: How do I gain access to production software?
A: Software for production use can be obtained via one of the five Visual Studio Subscriptions available to your company through BizSpark.
Q: Does each employee in a startup have to enroll in BizSpark in order to download and use program software?
A: No. A startup can have only one BizSpark account. The Startup Administrator can assign up to five Visual Studio subscriptions to employees at their company. After being assigned Visual Studio benefits, the developer will then receive an email with steps to begin using their Visual Studio subscription.
Q: I have just been sent a Visual Studio Subscription by my BizSpark Administrator. How do I get started?
A: The email that you've received includes steps on how to get started. If you can't find the email, or have other issues getting your Visual Studio Subscription, check with your BizSpark Administrator. The email address that the Administrator invited is the email address you need to use to sign into Visual Studio.
Products and Software
Q: Is BizSpark available to Startups that also use open source technologies?
A: Yes! Microsoft Azure works with Linux and a variety of familiar open source tools.
Q: We've outsourced some of our development work to a third-party company. Can their staff use the Microsoft software that we're licensed to use through BizSpark?
A: Each person who accesses the software will need a Visual Studio subscription. If you have available Visual Studio subscriptions on your BizSpark portal, you can assign these subscriptions to contractors. Otherwise, the contractors will need to acquire their own Visual Studio subscriptions. The level of subscription needed will depend on what software they need to access. For more details, please visit the Visual Studio homepage.
Q: How do I prove (e.g., government agency, accountants, etc.) the Microsoft software from BizSpark is legally licensed?
A: Please use our BizSpark welcome letter, a screen shot of each Visual Studio subscriber's My Account page (make sure to obscure the Subscriber ID so that it is not compromised), and the BizSpark Program Terms as proof that your licenses are legitimate.
Q: What benefits do I get with the Visual Studio Subscription available through BizSpark?
A: Please visit Visual Studio for more information about what benefits are included, including a link to a full list of products available by subscription level.
Q: What is the BizSpark Graduation Offer?
A: At graduation, your Startup will get a license grant to keep, at no charge, most of the software your Startup downloaded while in the BizSpark program.
Q: What happens after my time in BizSpark is done?
A: Your Startup Administrator will be able to accept the graduation amendment and receive a license grant that provides your team some software for perpetual use. We send startup administrators reminder emails when your time in BizSpark is nearing its end.
Q: How do I continue to work with Microsoft after BizSpark?
A: The best option is to join the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). MPN offers training, resources and benefits to help BizSpark graduates continue to grow their business with Microsoft and access go-to-market programs, including Microsoft’s global salesforce. The benefits include technical services, including consultations with Microsoft engineers during application development and deployment, access to software and cloud services to use to develop and test, no-cost, on-demand technical training, business development guidance, digital marketing training and assets as well as paid go-to-market packages.
Q: How can I use the software included in my BizSpark membership after graduation?
A: If you have been to the BizSpark site and completed the graduation process prior to graduation your Startup will get a license grant to keep, at no charge, most of the software your Startup downloaded while in the BizSpark program. Your Startup may continue using any of the software listed on the license grant according to the use rights listed on the license grant. Azure and Visual Studio are not included in the license grant. All versions of Visual Studio 2013 and later require a sign in using a Microsoft Account associated with an active VSS subscription. To continue using the Visual Studio Subscription, your Startup will need to purchase their subscription for each user running Visual Studio after graduation. If your Startup decides not to purchase a subscription, your Startup can still use Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Code, which are free.
If you have not been to the BizSpark site and/or not completed the graduation process the terms of your Startup's agreement with BizSpark set forth that your Startups will stop using any Microsoft software and tools provided or accessed from the BizSpark program at the end of the program or upon discharge from the program, whichever occurs first. If your Startup wishes to continue using any of the Microsoft software provided or accessed from the BizSpark program and tools, your Startup will need to purchase licenses.
Please note: The License grant PDF will only be available to accept until graduation. After graduation, you will no longer be able to accept the graduation amendment. Only the startup administrator will have access to view and download the license grant, and ability to view and download will cease 90 days after graduation, so we recommend that all startups keep a backup of the grant in a safe location.
Updated: 16 June 2018