Microsoft is investing heavily in Israel. Out of nine recent start-up acquisitions, a third have come from Israel and their Think Next event, which spotlights unique start-ups and continues to grow every year.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, general manager of Microsoft Ventures Accelerators Zack Weisfeld said, “We see ourselves as a major industry player in Israel. We hire people, we work with start-ups, we acquire in Israel, we’re an industry player. Think Next is one of our opportunities to be as close as it gets to the industry. It includes the top investors, deans from academia and start-ups. It’s a great way to keep our finger on the pulse.”
Think Next doesn’t just focus on the development of Microsoft products or services. In fact it equally encourages iOS and Android developers to also participate which suggests that Microsoft’s aim is to grow the tech industry in the region in general as opposed to looking out for its own interests. This can also be seen in the company’s accelerator programs which launched in Israel in 2012 and has since expanded globally with successes like the Microsoft Innovation Center in the U.S. and Accelerator Plus and Scale Up in India.
What do you think about these programs?