Microsoft R&D Israel




  • What is the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator ?

    The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator is a 4 months program aimed at helping out early stage startups doing big things in Cloud, Internet, and mobile. A small group of startups will be chosen for the program. Microsoft Ventures Accelerator will provide the startups with a great workspace located at the Microsoft Israel R&D Center in Herzliya, as well as free tools, topquality mentorship, and everything else necessary to take your startup to the next level successfully.

  • What does Microsoft Ventures Accelerator provide?

    Microsoft Ventures Accelerator provides everything your startup needs in order to develop your idea and focus on building a great product:
    • An amazing workspace in the heart of the startup industry at the Microsoft R&D Center in Herzliya that provides all your office needs such as work areas, meeting rooms, communications, and even a studio for filming product demos.
    • Free software and development tools via Microsoft’s BizSpark program (3 years of Windows, Office, Server licenses and variety of Microsoft dev tools)
    • Free access to the Windows Azure cloud platform via the Microsoft BizSpark Plus program ($60,000 for 2 years)
    • Strong, ongoing mentorship from top executives and technologists in Israel’s hightech industry
    • Technical mentorship from developers at the Microsoft R&D Center, as well as worldclass researchers from Microsoft Research
    • Access to thirdparty professionals who offer free legal, accounting, marketing and business support
    • Ongoing education and training on how to build great products and services

  • Do I have to develop on Microsoft technology or using Microsoft tools?

    No. We are open to startups doing any kind of development, whether it is Microsoft technology, variety of open source dev languages, or any other kind of development platform. As part of the Microsoft accelerator for Windows Azure program, companies will be provided free access to the Windows Azure Cloud platform.

  • What sort of companies are you looking for?

    We are looking for technology oriented companies, primarily in the fields of software, Cloud, Internet, and Mobile. We are not looking for specific technologies, but rather for great teams with a real passion for what they are doing as well as a big vision.

  • Do you fund companies? How much equity do you take?

    We believe in a clean model for working with companies. Therefore, we do not take an equity stake in the companies. And while we do not provide funding, we provide our companies with all the software, tools, and cloud access they need for free through the BizSpark and BizSpark Plus programs

  • How do I apply? When is the deadline?

    The next class of the Accelerator will be opened on January . Registration to the next class isn't opened yet. Click here to apply

  • What’s the catch?

    There is no catch. No, really. There is no catch.

  • So, why are you doing this?

    We are reinventing the way Microsoft works with top entrepreneurs and startups, we believe in “cultivating seeds of greatness” and helping broadcast the startup nation success globally. We believe that Microsoft Ventures Accelerator is a way of helping us engage deeply with developers, help expose them to our cloud and developer tools, and get meaningful feedback on their needs and opinions.
    Microsoft Ventures Accelerator is part of Microsoft’s continuing support of the Israeli hightech community, which we believe to be one of the strongest and most innovative in the world.

  • Do you take single-founder companies?

    While we don’t rule out companies with only a single founder, we know that singlefounder companies have a much harder time succeeding. So we do strongly encourage companies to come in with a balanced team of at least one strong technical founder and one founder who has business or marketing experience.

  • Is my company too far along?

    Not likely. We are focused on finding great teams with big visions who can benefit from the unique combination of workspace, tools, and mentorship that we can provide.

  • Do I have to be there for the whole four-month period?

    We are looking for fulltimers who will be primarily based on site during the four months of the program. Being on site allows you to maximize the benefit from the coaching, educational, and networking opportunities that the Accelerator provides. Getting into the Accelerator is a major commitment for both sides, and we do expect you to be around most of the time.

  • Can I apply if our company or founders are not from Israel?

    Yes, as long as you plan to be in Israel for the duration of the program

  • What happens after the program ends?

    The purpose of the program is to provide the maximum opportunity to get to the next level of development. We believe that the majority of the companies that participate in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator will finish the program with something in hand that they can take to investors and get funding.
    Towards the end of the program we will organize a Demo Day for angel investors and venture capitalists from all over the world to see your product and listen to your presentation. We will coach you in order to help you polish your message, improve your pitching technique, and generally do everything we can to help you get funding.
    And, by the way, have we mentioned that we are located a few buildings away from many of the venture capital funds in Israel?

  • What are the opportunities for networking and further education?

    As part of the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure program, we will have a number of weekly events involving the developer and investor community. These include:
    • Talks given by our mentors – successful entrepreneurs, executives and investors – on a variety of technology and business issues
    • Q&A sessions with CEOs and CTOs of the best local startups
    • Regularly bring Microsoft and other Multi National company executives in to meet with the startups
    • And, due to our location, we expect to have regular visits from leading tech figures and investors

  • Should I be worried about protecting my intellectual property?

    We started Microsoft Ventures Accelerator to engage with entrepreneurs, create unique value for them as well as expose them to our cloud and developer tools, not to steal their ideas.
    We work on a lot of stuff internally, and receive so many suggestions and ideas each year, that we cannot sign an NDA during the application process. We promise not share your ideas with anyone, but please keep your secrets – secret.
    For companies that are accepted into Microsoft Ventures Accelerator , we understand the concerns about working in the general framework of a corporate environment. As with other prominent programs such as BizSpark One, we will work under NDA with the participating startups.

  • We are outsourcing our development – are we still eligible?

    Yes, we will consider all applications. But remember that we are focused on the quality of the team as a whole, including the technological parts of it. While outsourcing can work in some cases, we think you should have at least one technology founder.

  • I have an idea and am looking for a co-founder – can you help?

    We don’t have the capability to recruit cofounders, but as part of the Global Accelerator Network, we can connect you with the HackStars service which is designed to do this.

  • What will the typical day look like?

    You will spend the day working hard on your product and building your company. We won’t tell you what to do or when you need to do it. Rather, we provide you with the environment and tools that will help you do what you need to do.
    Each startup will have a mentor or group of mentors who will work with them on an ongoing basis. In addition, several times a week will organize sessions with mentors and speakers from the tech industry. These could be Q&A sessions with the CTO of a successful startup to discuss how they overcame specific technical challenges, or a session on social marketing from some of Israel’s best marketers.
    We will also have fun evening events with an active participation of the startups. We have few great musicians in the first class of the Accelerator. We encourage creativity culture of all means

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