Tech-focused startups in Tel Aviv have been invited by Microsoft to take part in a four month Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program. The program will provide up and coming businesses to get off the ground by providing access to a workspace in the Microsoft Israel R&D Center in Herzliya as well as mentoring.
Although participants are given access to Microsoft software such as Windows and Office as well as to services like Azure, there is no obligation to use or focus on Microsoft technology. The program is open to all, but the focus is on those startups "primarily in the fields of software, Cloud, Internet, and Mobile".
Microsoft does not require companies to offer a stake in their venture -- this is a program that is about nurturing talent, not generating profit, and it's open to anyone who is happy to work from Israel for the duration.
The Tel Aviv section of the Microsoft Ventures website gives an overview of what it's all about:
"The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Tel Aviv was the first one for Microsoft worldwide.Our expertise is taking innovative ideas to new heights.
The concept is simple; you bring the idea, we’ll give you whatever you need to succeed. Our graduates’ achievements are amazing; be it in raising funds, sales or exits! We provide our startups with business connections, cutting edge technologies, experienced mentors and experts, exposure to investors and assist them in reaching out to a world of customers and partners through our global Microsoft network.
Success is here for the taking!"
Startups are free to apply right now, and the program will run from September this year through to January 2015. When the program comes to an end, Jerusalem Venture Partners, who has joined forced with Microsoft for this, will offer one participant up to $1 million worth of investment.