Time is running out for submitting all pitches to join the Amazon x Techstars Accelerator initiative
The clock is ticking for applications to come under the wing of the Alexa hot-house opportunity in the Seattle summer 2017 Accelerator Program. The April 9th deadline for voice-oriented startups is now less than one month away, and the hard work gets underway on July 16, 2017
The Alexa Accelerator fund is a joint initiative from Amazon, the online retail behemoth, and Techstars, a Boulder, CO-based VC and start-up mentoring firm with a market cap of approaching $8 billion and Certified B Corporation Status.
Amazon has a clear and unequivocal vision for voice being at the heart of the growth in how we interact with near-horizon and future technology. Along with Techstars, they are offering rigorously selected start-ups the chance to take part in a 13-week program in Seattle which will see them knuckle-down with technologists and product leaders from both firms.
The aim is to deliver commercially-viable, transformative, voice-powered technologies which will directly and positively impact upon how we all work and how we shop for goods and services today and tomorrow.
Per Techstars, "the program will focus on Alexa domains such as connected home and car, wearables and hearables, communication devices and more."
Once the review process is complete, the selected fire-starters, visionaries, and entrepreneurs will receive investment funding from Techstars and Alexa Fund. Crucially, they will also benefit from access to the teams and tech which underpin Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), Alexa Voice Services (AVS), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Launchpad.
Participants will be expected to relocate to Seattle for the three-month period and, although finding a base in any thriving city can be a challenge, Techstars will assign fixers at their end to help with housing and the necessary logistics to let founders hit the ground running.
A gift horse
To call this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is not to over-egg the cake. Aside from the platinum-class support and mentoring, the Chosen Few will receive $120,000 in exchange for 6 percent of equity.
And, although Techstars has a global footprint, voice-focussed startups will find that they have a kindred spirit up on the northwest coast.
Aviel Ginzburg, who was recently installed as Techstars' managing director of the accelerator, set out his stall in a March 1st blog post;
"Today, Seattle is known by many in the tech world as Cloud City, but it's my mission to turn Seattle into Voice City. That mission begins today with the Alexa Accelerator … we'd love to hear about what you're up to. "
Start of the Program; Jul 16, 2017