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Microsoft Launches Accelerator in Israel to Help Startups Grow their Business

Microsoft Launches Accelerator in Israel to Help Startups Grow their Business

Windows Azure Accelerator, the first in the company's history, provides mentorship and resources to entrepreneurs scaling their business in the cloud

Microsoft Corp. is opening the first startup accelerator in the company's history to increase the success of young companies. The Windows Azure Accelerator is a four-month program aimed at helping early stage startups doing big things in cloud, web and mobile. Microsoft will provide a creative workplace, top mentors and all the tools startups need to put their company on a trajectory to success.

The accelerator will take place at the Microsoft Israel Research and Development Center (ILDC) and is part of the Israel R&D center ThinkNext & Microsoft BizSpark programs for startups. Israel was chosen by Microsoft to lead the accelerator initiative due to the wide-ranging activity of startups in the area and the experience and know-how to propel startups into the global marketplace.

"The new accelerator is a first for Microsoft, but we have a long history of supporting early stage startups," said Tzahi "Zack" Weisfeld, Senior Director of Business Development & Strategy at Microsoft's Israel development center.  "The operational model we've constructed will enable startups to focus on creating world-class products and services and take a significant leap into the global marketplace."

Weisfeld added that Microsoft has decided that the new incubator will be open, allowing development in many different languages and development tools as per the startups' preference, and will provide them with cloud and software infrastructures. Moreover, Microsoft will request no stake equity in the participating startups but instead will focus on advancing them and the high-tech industry at large.

Microsoft is currently selecting high-potential startup companies to participate in this comprehensive end-to-end support program. The selected companies will meet demanding criteria regarding vision, level of technology, management quality, and ability to perform. Each cycle will last approximately four months. 

"If I was an entrepreneur just starting up a new tech company - it's very possible Microsoft would not be my default choice" said Tomer Dvir, CEO, Soluto. "A software giant with interests may look deterring. But the fact is, a startup has everything to gain from working with Microsoft, as I have found out from personal experience. Microsoft today owns a much more open approach and is a real supporter of startup companies. Aside from the obvious advantages of mentorship from the best guys in the business, there's a huge exposure potential, a ton of tools and real dollar value in what startups are going to get from this program."

 Nir Tenzer, Business Development and Platform Strategy Division Lead, Microsoft Israel: "Microsoft will provide the participating companies with support at unprecedented scope and quality.  In addition to the modern office infrastructure, each startup will be able to leverage a development environment based on the cloud services of Windows Azure, including development tools, processing and storage resources, and more, to a value of tens of thousands of dollars per startup at no charge. The tools will remain at the startups' disposal even after they complete their incubation".

The developers will receive training and supervision from senior Israeli hi-tech figures, including top executives from Microsoft Israel and  the Development Center, such as Yoram Yaacovi, the Center's GM, Prof. Moshe Tennenholtz, head of the research labs (Microsoft Research), Zack Weisfeld, Director of Business Development & Strategy, Nir Tenzer Business Development and Platform Strategy Division Lead, and many other senior product and development managers. Lastly, the start-ups will enjoy accounting services from Ernst & Young, and legal consultation from Pearl-Cohen-Zedek-Latzer.

Startups wishing to apply can do so here:

About Microsoft Israel R&D Center:

Microsoft Israel R&D Center - Company profile

The Microsoft Israel Research & Development Center is one of the company's strategic global development centers. Led by industry leaders, the center is home to incubations and mature, next generation product development activities designed for key growth areas of BI, Cloud and Online services. The Israel R&D center also serves as an anchor to the venture capital industry and start up community, facilitating technology and business cooperation between Israeli industry and Microsoft.

To Microsoft Israel R&D Center website 

About Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed. With more than 45,000 startups from 100 countries in the program and a global network of 2,300 BizSpark partners, Microsoft provides great business value to young technology companies around the world. The program provides a wide range of Microsoft technology, technical and business expertise, and enhanced market visibility. BizSpark Plus is an extension of the foundational BizSpark program, providing higher-value offerings through a network of leading regional incubators and accelerators around the world. More information is available at Microsodt Bizspark website

 

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

 

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