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Microsoft Israel Incubator Opens Second Session

Some of Israeli Start Ups to Come to Atlanta for “Flashpoint” Training

Microsoft Israel R&D center’s incubator in Herzliya – the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure – launched its second session last month. Thirteen Israeli start ups are participating in this session having been selected from 300 candidates. The session will last four months, and some of the startups will come to Atlanta for a month to take part in training at Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint program, led by Professor Merrick Furst of the College of Computing.  Microsoft sponsored Furst to come to Israel in December to present a 3-day training workshop for the ‘Start Up Engineering’ methodology he has pioneered.  The start ups will receive guidance from Microsoft staff as well as senior high tech mentors including financing plans from Yossi Moldawsky and Dubi Lechovitz’s PLUS Ventures investment fund, which will offer each company $20,000 for no stake. Technion’s Entrepreneurship program is also a partner in the program.

Microsoft said that 70% of the startups that took part in the first session have already raised capital or received official investment offers within three months of graduating from the course. The companies have raised a total of $6.5 million. Microsoft set up the incubator in March 2012.

The startups participating in the second session include Telesofia Medical Ltd. which has developed a platform that automatically creates personalized medical videos that increase patient understanding and reduce health care costs; Pixtr which has developed an application for automatically improving portraits: Shopetti which has developed social shopping applications for women; Physihome which has developed technology for physiotherapy treatment combining kintech devices; Kitchenbug, which allows instant analysis of internet recipes and translates them into nutritional values; and LiveTune which has developed a music teaching app.

Microsoft Israel R&D center general manager Yoram Yaacovi said, “The success of the first session motivated us to present even higher targets for the second session. To achieve this we have improved the model and integrated a range of added value innovations for entrepreneurs that will increase the chances of success.”

The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region has been approached to be a partner in the expansion of the Microsoft / Georgia Tech / Technion program.  According to the Chamber’s President Tom Glaser, AICC is reaching out to Atlanta-based corporations and philanthropic foundations to gauge interest in being supporters.  Home hospitality will be needed for the execs of the three Israeli companies coming to Atlanta in February.  Members interested in assisting are encouraged to contact Guy Tessler (gtessler@conexx.org).

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