Eleven new companies have emerged from Microsoft Venture's startup accelerator programs, the software giant announced Jan. 21.
The news was overshadowed by the high-profile Windows 10 press event at Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters. Nonetheless, it represents a major milestone in the company's efforts to engage with the tech startup scene and help nurture up-and-coming IT companies.
Last summer, Microsoft, content delivery network (CDN) provider Akamai and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) announced a partnership aimed at helping startups bring their data security innovations to market by providing financial and technical support. Separately, Microsoft teamed up with U.S.-based medical investor Healthbox and medical technology specialist Becton, Dickinson and Company to support health care technology startups.
Now, as the program draws to a close, 11 new companies—out of 300 initial applicants—are moving onto the next stage of commercializing their wares.
"The program that was recently completed is special and significant, as it marks the maturing of the accelerator model," said Hanan Lavy, managing director of Microsoft Ventures Tel Aviv, in a Jan. 21 statement. "The combined forces of leading corporates such as Akamai and BD, as well as JVP and Healthbox, together with Microsoft, created a great opportunity for the startups to gain unparalleled access to knowledge and relevant market."
Some are already well on their way, according to Microsoft Ventures. Nearly half of the participating startups have completed or are currently entertaining offers for funding, for a total of $4 million. Since Microsoft Ventures began its Israeli operations, graduating startups have raised almost $60 million.
The companies hail from a handful of countries, including India, Israel, Japan, Slovenia and Spain. On the data security front, the startups include Capy, a Japanese software company that develops CAPTCHAs that consist of a secure puzzle instead of deformed text.
Israel's Minereye produces a self-learning data leakage prevention system that helps keep confidential information under wraps by analyzing how sensitive files are handled within an organization and its devices. SCADAfence, also from Israel, develops software that protects critical infrastructure and manufacturing systems from zero-day attacks. Rounding out the new security firms are Data Flow, Hermetic.io and Siemplify.
In health care, the new batch of startups includes Exovite from Spain. The company's technology blends a personalized 3D splint and an electro-stimulator to rehabilitate damaged muscles and decrease muscle atrophy. Observe Design's (India) software platform analyses hand hygiene in hospitals to help cut infection rates.
MediCope is tackling the factors beyond patient care and medicine that can act as speed bumps on the way to recovery. The Israel-based company helps "serious illness patients throughout their journey by removing 4 types of non-clinical barriers to care: Financial, emotional, logistical and Patient-Provider communication," according to a statement. Kinestica, a company from Slovenia that develops medical devices for neurological patients, and NIBS NeuroScience Technologies also earned Microsoft Ventures' stamp of approval.