Think Next 2015 Has Been and Gone…
Now riddle me this Batman, when and where can you see cutting edge tech from Startups and Microsoft alike, see Hillel Fuld (CMO of Zula, Tech blogger, Startup mentor and all around nice guy) demonstrate drone flying, hear an assortment of amazing speakers connect technological innovation and the real world, try the Xbox One, network with people from every level of hitech and get a snazzy new T-shirt?
Thanks to Hillel for the demonstration and his permission to share this video.
That’s right, it was Think Next 2015. Microsoft Israel R&D, Research and Ventures along with their Accelerator were all present and delivered the goods, lock, stock and barrel.
Think Next 2015
The event was relocated from Tel Aviv port to the new Tel Aviv Sport Arena this year:
It was an action packed event with Demo Fest, the show, tell and network for Microsoft Accelerator’s Startups, select Microsoft Research projects and the latest in Microsoft tech on display including :
- Windows 10 on laptops, tablets and phones.
- Cortana – Windows Phone 8’s amazing personal assistant, already seen on preview versions of Windows 10 for desktop / laptop and expected on Android also.
- Office 2016 – in preview now but once again the Office team refine and improve the best productivity suite in the world with a greater focus on touch.
- Skype Translator – a real time, multilingual translator for Skype video chats. In open preview now
- Microsoft Band – Microsoft’s incredible smartwatch. The only watch on the market with full cross platform support as well as Cortana integration and sport / health apps.
- Handpose – a Microsoft Research project that detects, analyzes and renders a person’s hand movements
Microsoft were smart in interspersing these stands amongst the Startups on display, as well as a stand for BIzspark and a place to show staff your requisite selfie with one of the Microsoft Spaceship Crew so you could get your own free Think Next 2015 T-Shirt.
I spent as much time as I could chatting to Startups and the Microsoft stands too. The energy level and enthusiasm was incredible.
The second part of the event, everyone was invited to take seats in the stadium with the basketball court converted into a dazzling multimedia presentation area for the speakers.
You can find the full and impressive list of speakers here and see from the embedded tweets on display just how much the attendees enjoyed hearing the speeches.
IMHO the best was keynote speaker, Scott Guthrie (Microsoft VP for almost everything) who spoke about big data, Internet of Things and how all companies are data companies citing the example of a Japanese dairy farm using a (relatively) simple IoT solution and Microsoft Azure to process step data from Cows on the farm to monitor and exploit accurate fertility cycles. In short, farmers using data to know when their cows are in heat.
Guthrie’s speech was inspired and an amusing way of touting Azure which continues to take big bites out of the cloud market. He also gave a practical demo of how easy and quick it is to deploy an Azure solution on stage.
The Warptest POV
As I wrote in my post about Think Next 2014,
“Microsoft began the Accelerator and Microsoft Ventures to invest in, mentor, nurture and assist Startups with great ideas but as Locard’s Principle states you don’t just leave something behind, you also take something with you. In this case, it appears that the Startup mentality has become a greater part of Microsoft itself.”
Microsoft continues to build something incredibly special with the Israeli Startup community and combines the incredible networking opportunity of Think Next 2015 with a stunning display of Microsoft tech we can have now or very soon.
If Microsoft Israel is not perceived as a flagship site, producing integral parts of these innovations it should be and Think Next has my recommendation if you are in hi-tech and want the opportunity to meet startups, VC’s and many others participating in Israeli hi-tech’s success. I’ve already asked Cortana to add a reminder to register early for Think Next 2016, how about you?