Microsoft Bizspark is a program curated for startups. It supports the growth of startups by providing free cloud credits for all hosting needs, free access to softwares & devtools for development, access to mentors in the field and potential market access. All in all – a well packaged service that promises to accelerate the growth of a startup.
In a previous blog post, Microsoft <3 Startups, I covered what the Bizspark program is and how it helps startups through the right support (technical and business mentorship), the right funding (free cloud credits, software and dev-tools) and the right network (successful startups, alumni, mentors and potential customer access). I also covered the Bizspark Plus program which is the premium Bizspark, accessible through 150+ partner accelerators across the world. In Canada, it is accessible through Mars (Toronto), Highline(Toronto, Vancouver), The Next 36 (Toronto), Velocity (Kitchner), L-Spark (Ottawa) and FounderFuel (Montreal).
This post walks you through the process of activating the Bizspark Plus subscription.
Step1: Signup for Bizspark (If you are already signed up for Bizspark, proceed to Step 2)
Before we begin one of the most important elements to consider is the Microsoft Account on which the Plus subscription will be assigned to. Microsoft account is the account which is used to login to Azure, Office, Xbox – basically any Microsoft devices or services. It is recommended that you have an organizational/administrative account rather than a personal Microsoft account as you may need to share the login information or change ownership if the original account holder leaves the organization, and many other reasons. You can follow steps detailed here to create the Microsoft account.
There are 2 ways of doing this:
a) Reach out to a designated Bizspark Champ / network partner (or firstname.lastname@example.org) in your region who can help you with an auto invite to Bizspark
b) Apply to the Bizspark Program: Go to https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark and click on Join Bizspark as shown below:
This approval process takes approximately 4-5 days (may vary depending upon application volume and region)
Once you have signed up for Bizspark – you can login and click on ‘My Bizspark’:
This is how the dashboard looks like:
For a guide on how to manage your Bizspark Account – how can you activate your benefits in Azure, add additional members and a lot more – refer to the Bizspark Guide. You can activate your Bizspark Subscription on Azure. Once the Bizspark is activated, you can login to Azure in http://portal.azure.com and verify the following Bizspark Subscription:
As a member of a partner accelerator, you have access to the Bizspark Plus program. Below I describe how to activate to activate the Bizspark Plus subscription.
Once you are nominated for the Bizspark Plus 120k offer, you will receive an email from “email@example.com” with the subject line “Invitation to BizSpark Plus”
Now, right-click on the link, copy the link and paste it on a new browser window in private/incognito mode –> Click on ‘Log in’
After logging in, click on ‘My Bizspark’:
As soon as you click that, you will be directed to the following page (since your account has been provisioned with the Plus offer) – check the checkbox accepting T&C and click on Accept:
Now, you will be directed to the following page to choose the account
Now you will have to confirm that you are assigning the sponsorship to the correct account:
Click on the ‘Bizspark Plus Offer’ as highlighted below:
Follow the Steps and you should be able to activate the Bizspark Plus offer.
If you get the following error message – do not get alarmed as it may take sometime for the Plus offer to get created and assigned for your account. Wait 5 minutes and then try again – copy link and paste in a fresh new browser window in the in-private/incognito mode:
If you still see this message, you will need to inform the Bizspark Plus Support team through the Bizspark Champ and a ‘Manual Entitlement’ will be processed by the support team.
How to confirm if you have activated the offer correctly?
Login to the Azure portal. Click on Subscriptions and you should see a ‘Bizspark Plus subscription’ – once you click on that, you should see the Offer and the Offer id should end with 0149p.
You can also monitor your subscription spent on this page.
Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up @AdarshaDatta and we will be more than happy to help. After all, your success is ours and we are here to partner with you to accelerate your growth.