From the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure website:
We are extremely excited to welcome our 2nd Accelerator class to the Microsoft Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We screened over 600 startups to find these ten startups. As with the Kinect Accelerator that recently ended this past June, we were overwhelmed by both the quality and the quantity of applications we received.
This is a global class. The selected startups have travelled from Australia, Germany, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles to join local startups from Bellevue and Seattle, Washington. This Accelerator class will focus on building businesses that are enabled by Windows Azure: Microsoft’s cloud platform. Their working space is in Microsoft’s state-of-the-art facility in South Lake Union, Seattle’s tech hub.
The founders, developers and teams of these ten startups will dedicate their entire resources on their company for 13 weeks. Seasoned entrepreneurs, venture capitalist and leaders within Microsoft will be mentoring them every step of the way. There will be lots of perks, including free software and cloud services, technical support, marketing training and, probably most critically, plenty of free coffee.
But all caffeine aside, this is not just a trend. Microsoft is a huge software company that realizes that innovation and economic recovery will come from startups. It makes total sense to help as many of them as we can. The best way to do that, for now, is through a highly targeted and highly focused approach.