The Alexa Fund announced that it has chosen nine companies for this year's Alexa Accelerator. The Accelerator, a program designed to support early-stage startups using voice to deliver transformative customer and business experiences, will be hosted in Seattle this summer.
The finale of Accelerator will be Demo Day in October 2018, where the selected companies will showcase their progress in front of investors, leaders from Amazon and the Seattle tech community.
“Four of the participants from the first Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, have gone on to raise venture-led rounds since the 2017 Demo Day in October last year, making the class' initial fundraising efforts one of the most successful in the 10-year history of Techstars,” said Amazon’s Brian Adams in a blog post. “We are incredibly excited about the possibilities for this year’s participants, all of whom represent a diverse focus of products, services and industries, and see Alexa as key to unlocking their full potential.
The nine companies selected for this year’s Accelerator are: Blutag, which enables retailers and brands to deliver voice-shopping experiences; Conservation Labs, an affordable smart-water meter that cuts costs by reducing water use and detecting leaks; HelixAI, which creates voice-powered digital assistants for use in the laboratory sciences; Imageous, a comfort and smart facilities AI assistant for occupants of commercial buildings; Jargon, an on-demand conversational translation service; Novalia, which uses conductive print and micro-controllers to create immersive, touch-based experiences; Presence AI, which enables AI-powered conversations for small businesses to replace phone calls; Unruly Studios, which aims to keep kids active while learning to code; and Voiceitt, utilizing automatic speech-recognition technology that enables people with speech impairments to communicate and be understood by voice.
“We received hundreds of applications from 44 countries around the world, and the nine startups that were chosen to participate are each examples of the incredible potential for innovation in voice technology,” wrote Adams. “Over the next three months, these startups will roll up their sleeves and work intensively to develop the fundamentals they need to improve their products, refine their business model and, ultimately, bring new Alexa capabilities to their customers. During that time, they will benefit from exposure to and mentorship by diverse product, business and technology leaders from across Amazon, Techstars and the Seattle community.”