Microsoft Ventures Accelerator graduates third batch of Israeli startups. "Startup nation" continues to attract international companies.
By Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 11/27/2013, 12:19 PM
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Tel Aviv has graduated its third batch of startups, five of which have already received an average of $1m in funding or formal proposals.
The ten graduating startups benefitted from the support of several multinational corporations participating in the accelerator program, including eBay, Comcast, Sears Israel, Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R and Deutsche Telekom. The multinationals contributed mentoring from leading executives, help in developing technology and solutions, beta sites to test those solutions, and connections with customers.
The Accelerator’s four-month program focuses on enabling startups to create world-class products and services and to take a significant leap into the global marketplace. The ten graduates were handpicked from a pool of 380 candidates (only 2.6% accepted).
“The accomplishments of our third round of startups, the rising number of major multinationals participating in the program and the significant amounts of funding already achieved all point to the increasing success of our program,” says Director of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, Hanan Lavy. “We’re even seeing companies which are skipping the seed stage and heading straight towards A Round funding – a testament to the quality of the entrepreneurs in this batch.”
“It was truly inspiring to see the great startups that have come out of the Microsoft Accelerator program, and we are proud to have been a part of it,” said Guy Schory of eBay Inc., a partner with the Microsoft Ventures Tel Aviv Accelerator. “Combine this highly talented batch of entrepreneurs with world-class mentorship and the creative energy of the ‘Startup Nation,’ and you’ve got a tremendous springboard for success. We’re already looking forward to seeing the next batch of promising startups.”
85% of the previous 24 startups from the first two batches of the Accelerator raised an average of $1m in funding within half-a-year of graduation. The success of the Accelerator model has supported Microsoft’s decision to open similar accelerators in London, Berlin, Bangalore and Beijing and programs in Paris and Moscow.
“We are building extraordinary startups around the world,” said Senior Director of Microsoft Ventures, Zack Weisfeld. “One of our biggest strengths is our unique partnerships with enterprise customers and our ability to provide startups with unparalleled access to markets. We’re giving startups a ‘head-start.’”
The third batch of startups range from indoor location-based services, cloud recovery, telecare solutions for the elderly, guided web browsing to augmented-reality gaming.
The Graduating Startups:
Appixia is an easy to use, highly affordable platform for small and medium retailers to build and promote their mobile presence. Appixia’s platform will level the playing field, making it possible for all retailers to enjoy a premium presence on mobile devices - not just the major players.
CellMining disrupts the way mobile operators monitor and fix network failures by providing them with an optimizing platform utilizing crowd-sourced, real-time data including consistently monitored user-experience.
ConferPlace is the first conference platform that delivers a full conference experience online, enabling users to take part in any event anywhere in the world without leaving the comfort of their own desk. ConferPlace allows conferences of any size to go far beyond the borders of their schedule and venue, reaching millions rather than thousands of participants.
KitLocate’s software development infrastructure allows companies to manage location-based services smartly and efficiently. The novel location-detection mechanism monitors user location 24/7 at an extremely high power efficiency, making it possible to observe user behavior and send location-based notifications and recommendations with minimum usage of mobile device battery power.
Kytera has developed novel “Aging-in-Place” technology that help seniors grow old in dignity in the comfort of their own homes. The system tracks seniors’ activity patterns and uses cloud-based big-data analytics to dynamically learn their routine in order to detect deviations and distress situations. The system is aimed at the residential market with no need for professional installation.
MetalCompass is an augmented-reality gaming system disrupting the mobile gaming industry. MetalCompass’ groundbreaking technology creates innovative app-enabled devices which turn the whole world into a playing field.
Navin is a crowd-sourced platform/app that relies on the 'wisdom-of-the-crowd’ to make navigation work EVERYWHERE in the world, both indoors and out. Navin technology is hardware-free and features zero deployment costs.
Roojoom offers a dynamic new way to experience, share and consume online content. With Roojoom, users curate web content, organize it, add insights and give readers a guided tour around the web. Using Roojoom, the average person reads 5 times more content online, allowing businesses and publishers to increase engagement and improve click-through-rates.
Semperis creates a novel solution for organizations to manage their Identity Platforms (Active Directory) and for rapid Disaster Recovery. These problems are responsible for annual losses of around $5B in the U.S. alone.
Vubooo is a leading interactive engagement platform for sports fans, providing them with a first-of-its-kind experience during live sporting events. Vubooo allows fans to be interactively involved during a live match through non-textual language. Vubooo’s users are 3 times more active than Twitter’s while watching live football matches.