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This article was published on September 6, 2012

Meet the three coolest companies from Microsoft’s Azure accelerator in Israel

Meet the three coolest companies from Microsoft’s Azure accelerator in Israel
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

Today at the Microsoft campus, Building 1 in Mountain View, the first class from the Israel-based Azure accelerator pitched their companies, progress and teams to a room of investors, journalists, and other Valley dignitaries.

TNW visited the accelerator in Israel in April, finding both the program, and the country’s startup scene to be impressive. From our initial coverage:

“As I came to learn, Microsoft is a huge force in Israel, lending a hand to many of the startups that I met. The company is attempting to build a really strong ecosystem of entrepreneurs, developers, engineers, and design talent, and decided to start the company’s first ever accelerator right in the heart of the country.”

However, when TNW visited, none of the companies had yet moved in to the office space. So, to watch the young firms present was a nice cap to our first coverage of the program. Microsoft’s incubator play is now somewhat extensive, with programs in India, the United States (working with TechStars), and Israel.

The Israel program accepted 11 companies in its first class, out of more than 100 applications. Teams of 2-4 people were preferred, and while no cash was provided, each company was given office space, access to advisors, and other perks, not to mention a short line to Microsoft and its Azure product. In the next class, a $20,000 convertible note will also be offered.

This post is a short look at our favorite demos from the day. Instead of trying to write about every company, we picked the few that most piqued our fancy. Enjoy!


According to Medisafe’s presentation, in the United States alone, there are 146 million people who take a medication on a daily basis. That’s just under half, for reference.

Sadly, it doesn’t always go well. Again, according to the startup, there are 700,000 people each year who suffer an emergency, due to either over or under-dosing on their required medications. This is often due to negligence, or accident, and not deliberate error. Every 19 minutes, someone dies from such a mistake.

Medisafe wants to help solve the problem by providing a mobile application for individuals in families to use, which reminds them when to take their medicine, and if they have yet done so. A family’s apps are synced, and use push notifications and even scheduled phone calls to keep each individual safe, and healthy.

The company is working with both HMOs and health platforms to promote the application.

Medisafe intends to generate revenue in two ways: selling access to its data – usage information, and other pieces of information are likely gold to pharmacological companies – and by allowing for targeted marketing. Want to sell a pill that helps with a certain disease? Wouldn’t you love to have a list of folks already taking a competing drug for that issue?

The company is currently in closed beta and is raising early stage capital.


Go to Amazon, and search over to an item you might want to buy. If you could spin it around in a 360 degree fashion, would that help you decide if you wanted to purchase it? Perhaps, as it would make the online shopping experience, RotaryView thinks, more like the physical shopping experience.

According to its reported data, 91% of shoppers prefer seeing items for sale in 360 degrees online.

However, most companies don’t have the resources to do this themselves; it’s non-trivial to pick up a camera, a spinning tool, and a graphic designer to create a spinnable shot of a product.

RotaryView aims to fix that, by letting anyone shoot a high-quality 360 degree image of a product. Any smartphone works. Keep the camera still, rotate the object, and RotaryView will shoot pictures as it spins, splicing them into a single, fluid image. It’s impressive technology. The company has patents, it stressed several times during its demonstration.

Currently RotaryView intends to work with small and medium-sized businesses, which it intends to follow up by adding manufacturers to its client list. In the end, it wants to build a ‘stock image’ site for images prepared using its technology, allowing for vendors to snag 360 degree shots of all products they sell.

RotaryView launched today, and is raising seed funding.


Crack a beer, and fire up a TV channel based on your social graph? If that sounds like fun, you are going to dig Stevie. Stevie takes content from your social graph, you log in with Facebook, and stitches it together into a personal video feed, laced with social information.

That’s why we call it the CNN of your personal feed: the interface is as busy as it is rich. Applications for both iOS and Android can act as a remote, so you can sit back, and not worry about reaching your mous or keyboard.

Is it fun? I fired up the app here at the venue, and within seconds was fretting about the lives of a number of cute ducklings as they crossed a highway – the clip was fed to my by Stevie, having presumably been derived from a Facebook friend of mine.

The app feels very Metro, if you will. Stevie is live now, and the company is raising its Series A.

Honorable Mention: Vidit

Have you been to a concert in the last, well, few years? If so, you have seen the hundreds and hundreds of cameras that attendees have trained on every inch of the stage. Vidit takes that source video, from various sources, syncs it, and creates a single, unified video stream form the component parts.

Until we get our hands on the product, and manage to test it, we can’t speak to how effective it is, but the technology looked darn cool.

Use Vidit at a Metallica concert and you will earn my good graces. Vidit is in alpha at the moment, and is raising seed funds.

Top Image Credit: D.Begley

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