What is the iTech Show and Why is Microsoft Israel R&D Sponsoring it?

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By: Hillel Fuld

It’s been a while, I find myself spending more and more time on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, and less time blogging. It’s a sore topic, so don’t get me started. I will just say this. I wouldn’t say blogging has been replaced and I most definitely intend on continuing to write here since everything good that has happened to me professionally happened because of this blog, but… I will say that storytelling, as in letting people really get to know you as a person or as a company, is a whole lot easier on these other platforms than it is via blogging.

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Which leads me to the very reason I am writing this post, The iTech Show. You see, for the past decade, more or less, I have been trying to tell the world a story. The story goes something like this. Once upon a time, there was a spec on the map, a tiny little state the size of New Jersey. This tiny little entity was surrounded by enemies at all its borders who wanted her destruction. She was also located in the most unstable region on earth. So you know what she did? She changed the world!

I have been trying, through my work, to give the world a window into Israeli tech and perhaps, if I do my job well enough, change the perception of Israel in the global community. I can say based on the thousands of messages, comments, snaps, and tweets that I have gotten over the years, that it is working. Slowly.

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So while I spent time covering the Israeli tech scene for sites like TechCrunch, VentureBeat, The Next Web, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, and more, I always felt like something was missing, the storytelling aspect behind the tech. Who are these people building world-leading tech that millions of people around the world are using? Who are the investors, the entrepreneurs, the leaders behind Israeli tech?

I always felt like the world wants to know these people and see these faces, but that meant one thing. Video! So I started toying with this “new” hot medium via apps like Meerkat (RIP), platforms like Snapchat and Facebook Live, but something was still missing.

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So over the years, I was quite vocal about the fact that despite all the hype around Israeli tech, there is still no authoritative video content about the scene. When it comes to Silicon Valley, there are countless vlogs, video shows, and video podcasts, but Startup Nation? Not so much. I said many times, on all my networks, that someone was going to have to step up. Of course, I wanted that person to be me, but didn’t have the resources or video expertise to do this alone.

I also reached out to several entities in the ecosystem including accelerators and other companies, but after many meetings and conversations, nothing ever advanced. Then, the Microsoft Israel R&D Center, where the now global Microsoft Accelerator was born, stepped up big time!

“We are doing this. We got the budget, we built the studio, we even bought the microphones and cameras. When do we start?”

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That was pretty much the phone call I got from Geva Telem at Microsoft Israel R&D one Friday afternoon. I have to admit that I was a bit worried. I wasn’t sure that this video content I dreamed of creating had Microsoft branding all over it. So I vocalized that concern to Geva. Quickly, he clarified that Microsoft did not want promotion in exchange for building me this in-house studio! So what did they want? They wanted to tell the story of this exciting ecosystem. They wanted the world to meet the people and see the faces behind Israeli tech. Their goals sounded familiar!

So, after some brainstorming and work surrounding the name and brand of this show, iTech was born and Facebook Live was chosen.

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A new 30 minute episode every two weeks consisting of an interview with a leading personality in the ecosystem, local tech news, and a startup spotlight for you to hear about a new Israeli startup in early stages!

I have to admit, I am super excited about this show and it is, in many ways, something I have dreamed about for several years! Today is the first episode and we are interviewing Michael Eisenberg, previously Benchmark Israel, and now General Partner at Aleph VC, an investor many consider to be number one in Israel!

So that is the concept of iTech and that is how it came to be that the big mighty Microsoft and the little me shared the same dream and set out to fulfill it!

Wish us luck!

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hilzfuld

Hillel is Co Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ZCast, a company taking on the pain of modern audio broadcasting. Hillel also blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more. Hillel has been named Israel's top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program. You can find and talk to Hillel on Twitter. He is @Hilzfuld.