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February 25, 2019Brian Adams
The Alexa Fund is excited to announce the third year of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, a 13-week program built around the belief that voice will fundamentally improve the way we interact with technology and that some of the best innovations with Alexa will come from early-stage startups. Up to 10 companies from around the world will be selected to participate. Each will access a broad network of mentors from across Amazon and the Techstars network, all of whom will devote their time to help founders take their businesses to the next level.
Alexa is capable of much more today than when we first launched the program in 2017, and the developer community has played a big part in that growth. There are now more than 80,000 Alexa Skills, and companies working with Alexa have created more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices, and more than 150 products with Alexa built-in, from headphones and wearables to PCs and cars. Along the way, Amazon has introduced new ways for developers to make money and build voice-first business; new tools and services for categories like enterprise and hospitality; and new countries and languages that provide developers access to an increasingly global audience.
The Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is an opportunity for founders from around the world to show off new ideas that push Alexa even further. We encourage applications from companies building a wide range of products, including devices that work with Alexa or have Alexa built-in; software and services that leverage voice technology; developer tools that service voice-first businesses; and core technologies like AI and machine learning that enable better voice experiences. We are particularly keen on startups innovating in education, healthcare, fitness and wellness, enterprise collaboration and productivity, property tech, and AI/ML services – but our final company selection will not be limited to these themes.
Each of the past two years, we received hundreds of applications across dozens of countries. We asked some of the past participating CEOs what the program did for them – below is a sample of what we heard.
Shilp Agarwal, CEO Blutag from the 2018 cohort said, “Even as a serial entrepreneur with a business already generating revenue, the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars proved to be a hugely valuable experience. From the very first day, the program directors and managers, both from Techstars and the Alexa Fund, made it their mission to bring success to our business and provided the guidance and advice needed to achieve that. The mentor network provided through the program, along some of the partnerships we formed along the way, have become some of our biggest competitive advantages today.”
Abhishek Suthan, CEO of Pulse Labs from the 2017 cohort said, “The Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars has been the single most transformative experience for Pulse Labs as a company, and me as a founder. The program propelled Pulse Labs from a mere concept to a full-fledged startup with a launched product, enterprise customers and top investors within a short period. It's actually hard to communicate in words just the amount of actionable guidance and direct support we received from various teams at Amazon and Techstars to make Pulse Labs successful - they always looked at things through our lens and put us first. To all founders out there, you owe it to your team to give the Alexa Accelerator your best shot.”
Program leaders from the Alexa Fund and Techstars will be traveling to meet with founders during office hour sessions in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Toronto, Madrid, and Paris over the coming weeks. Visit the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars page to see the city tour schedule. Sign up for office hours on that page to tell us more about your interest and to hear about some of the success from our previous programs.
The 2019 program will be hosted in Seattle and take place between July and October 2019. The application window is open now and closes on April 7, 2019.
Apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars