Amazon's Alexa Accelerator program for AI start-ups

Amazon's Alexa Accelerator program for AI start-ups

Posted by Naveen on December 2nd 2016

Amazon has announced a new accelerator program for start-ups developing conversational Artificial Intelligence . It has already set up the Alexa Fund of $100 Million and invested in around 22 companies in various stages and sectors. As part of this it has announced the Alexa Prize for conversational AI open to University students who can build bots which can actually have a conversation through AI.
 
Details
The accelerator program is for 13- weeks and is conducted in partnership with Techstarsa as a potential partnership to support conversational AI. 
Amazon and Techstars will be investing an initial $20,000 in all participants at the start of the program.
Selected companies will be housed in space rented from the University of Washington. 
 
Founders will be given exposure to mentors from both groups.
 At the end of the program, groups will be eligible for an additional $100,000 in the form of a convertible note.
 
When can they apply
Startups can begin applying for the program in January 2017 . Amazon and Techstars will be hosting joint information sessions in major cities around the world before the program begins in July 2017.
 
A  demo day will be held in October 2017 for investors to view company presentations and interact with founders.

Who can apply
This is Amazon’s first foray into the world of accelerator programs and there has been restriction as to what type of start-ups can apply .
 
Early-stage companies working on speech technology or voice applications in any industry--including, but not limited to automobiles, health, communications, wearables, and connected homes--can apply for the 13-week program.

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