Accelerating Start-ups with open source, and Windows Azure Accelerators

In early 2012 Microsoft chose Tel Aviv,  as the location for its first start-up accelerator. When the team at Microsoft Research and Development, Israel asked if MS Open technologies, Inc. could speak about open source on Windows Azure at their Cloud Day event I immediately jumped at the chance since I’m fascinated by how open source can help accelerate innovation. It seemed to me that this event would attract the kinds of people who could show me a thing or two about innovation on the cloud.

The Cloud Day event was designed to provide an opportunity for members of the local start-up community to explore the latest & hottest trends in cloud computing and to gain insights on how to get the most value out of the cloud. Speakers included representatives of start-ups at varying stages of development, Venture Capitalists, Cloud Consultants and Microsoft Open Technologies.

My session focused on using open source software to get the most from the cloud. I discussed how Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. work with projects and communities in order to ensure Windows Azure is an ideal platform for open source solutions. This was illustrated with a number of examples and case studies, such as how Ascribe Ltd transformed healthcare using open source big data solutions thanks to Microsoft’s contributions to Apache Hadoop and how used Azure and open source to manage a massive surge in web traffic. I also demonstrated how, using VM Depot makes it possible for anyone to build a video sharing site during their coffee break (more on that in a later post).

For me though what I had to say was not the important part, it was what the attendees had to say that interested me. After my session I was able to talk to quite a few people who were both keen to tell me about their start-up and to learn how they can make the most of open source software. Almost everyone I spoke to demonstrated a hunger, energy and determination that was nothing short of impressive. It's no
wonder that the Microsoft Accelerator here has such a high success rate.

By the end of the day it was clear that open source is an important part of the start-up ecosystem in Israel and I, along with the rest of Microsoft Open Technologies, look forward to continuing to support the brilliant team at Microsoft Israel R&D a they continue to provide support for local innovation and business development.

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