Up to ten companies from around the world will be selected to participate in the 13-week program that gives firms the chance to showcase their own ideas that will expand Alexa’s capabilities.
“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,” wrote Amazon’s Brian Adams in a blog post. “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 is currently seeking applications from companies developing products that work with Alexa or have Alexa built in; feature software and services using voice technology; showcase developer tools that service voice-first businesses; and boast technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
“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,” added Adams.
Representatives from the Alexa Fund and Techstars will be meeting with founders in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Toronto, Madrid, and Paris over the coming weeks. This year’s program will be hosted in Seattle between July and October 2019, with the application deadline on April 7, 2019.
“Even as a serial entrepreneur with a business already generating revenue, the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars proved to be a hugely valuable experience,” Shilp Agarwal, CEO of Blutag from the 2018 cohort said. “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.”