To Boost Windows Azure, Microsoft Launches Company’s First-Ever Startup Accelerator

TechCrunch

Today, Microsoft is launching the first startup accelerator* in the company’s history in an effort to encourage more entrepreneurs to build their cloud-based applications using Windows Azure. The program will take place at the Microsoft Israel Research and Development Center, and is a part of the Israel R&D Center’s outreach program Think Next as well as the Microsoft BizSpark program for startups.

Like most accelerators, Microsoft will provide the typical accouterments, including free office space, coaching, mentorship, legal assistance and more, but in this case, it’s specifically after companies building cloud-based startups. The companies will be provided with free access to Windows Azure, but will not receive seed funding.

According to Zack Weisfeld, Sr. Director of Strategy and Business Development at Microsoft’s Israel Development Center, the decision to launch the company’s first accelerator in Israel had to do with the center’s strategic location for Microsoft, and is part of…

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