Issue: Microsoft's Bizspark is not being specific in its rejection of applications and has not for the most part publicly stated all the requirements/criteria it uses to approve applications.
Take a look at the wordage Microsoft Bizspark's rejection form emails use below in bold: (note no mention of matching company websites and emails with same domain names)
From the information you provided, it does not appear that you meet all the eligibility requirements at this time. To enter the program, your startup must be:
- Actively engaged in development of a software-based product or online service that will form a core piece of its current or intended business
- Privately held
- In business for less than 3 years, and
- Less than US $1 million in annual revenue
Observe that BizSpark in this rejection email does not state any requirement that the applicant have a matching domain/email and that emails other than this, such as gmail or hotmail accounts, are unacceptable.
Two egregious problems here.
- Microsoft rejected applications without being forthright about all the criteria it was using during its reviews.
- It would be extremely easy for Microsoft during the web application process for their webpage to reject the use of free email accounts and to require matching active website domains/emails. Failure to do so is essentially setting people up for failure and passive/aggressive to say the least.
Many of us who have applied for inclusion in the Bizspark program have legitimate projects and hope to grow viable businesses from them, but Microsoft has been rejecting them out of hand thus preventing us from accessing the resources they assert they are trying to get to us. The delays they have caused are costing many of us precious days, weeks, and even the viability of our developing products.
Purchasing a domain name, throwing up a website, and setting up email through these website apparently would fulfill their unstated requirements and would only take a few minutes if people only knew this was necessary to the process. Ironically, jumping through that arbitrary hoop would not make that person's application anymore "legitimate" than applicants that include these details in the application.
Lousy way to run a railroad Microsoft.