Announcing the 2018 Class of the Alexa Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Seattle

We are thrilled to announce the nine companies participating in the second Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars taking place this summer in Seattle, WA. The program will once again be managed as a joint venture by Techstars and the Amazon Alexa Fund, and allow us to pursue a shared goal of supporting entrepreneurs in the voice space. Last year’s Alexa Accelerator companies have gone on to raise over $10 million in capital, and include:

Comet.ml: Comet.ml, which allows data scientists and developers to easily monitor, compare and optimize their machine learning models, completed a $2.3 million seed round led by Trilogy Equity partners in April 2018.

Novel Effect: Novel Effect enables voice interactive storytelling by adding music, sounds, and even characters voices simply by reading a book out loud with their app. They closed a $3 million Series A investment round co-led by Alpha Edison, TenOneTen Ventures, and Waverley Capital in May 2018.

Pulse Labs: Pulse Labs, which builds user experience testing solutions for voice developers, raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Madrona Venture Group in February 2018.

Sensible Object: Sensible Object raised $3.2 million in June 2018 alongside the launch of When in Rome, the first Alexa-powered board game.

Much like last year’s class, the companies selected showcase a wide range of voice innovation ranging from smart home technology to gaming, the enterprise, and more. This year’s program is already underway and will be packed with 12 weeks of hard work. The program culminates October 9th with Demo Night, giving participants an opportunity to pitch their business concept to top venture capitalists and angel investors and announce new Alexa product experiences.

Don’t miss your chance to join us for the fun. Reserve your ticket now!

We’re excited to welcome this second class to the Techstars community and look forward to the voice innovations they will bring to Seattle!

Blutag

New York City, NY

Blutag – Helping retailers and brands deliver voice shopping experiences

Conservation Labs

Pittsburgh, PA

Conservation Labs – An affordable smart water meter to save money by reducing water use and detecting leaks

Helix

Atlanta, GA

HelixAI – Voice powered digital assistants for use in the laboratory sciences

Imageous

Seattle, WA

Imageous – Comfort and smart facilities AI assistant for occupants of commercial buildings

Jargon

Seattle, WA

Jargon – On demand conversational translation service to remove language barriers

Novalia

London, UK

Novalia – Applying conductive print and microcontrollers to create immersive, touch-based experiences

Presence AI

San Francisco, CA

Presence AI – AI-powered conversations for small businesses to replace phone calls

Unruly

Boston, MA

Unruly Studios – Bridging STEM and physical play to keep kids active while learning to code

Voiceitt

Tel Aviv, Israel

Voiceitt – Automatic Speech Recognition technology enabling people with speech impairments to communicate and be understood by voice








Alexa: Set a Reminder for Application Deadline

Applications are now open for the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We’re excited to team up again with the Alexa Fund to run our second class and we are matching the growth in the space and opportunity by expanding this year’s program.

On top of up to 10 companies that we’ll be working with in Q3 2018 here in Seattle, we’ll also be selecting up to three international companies that will spend their time in both our London and Seattle offices. This will help us leverage the Alexa Fund’s recently announced $100MM in venture capital to support global investment opportunities.

Amazing First Year

We had a very successful inaugural class of the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars and the future of our alumni is bright. For example, Pulse Labs recently announced its first funding round, while others like Sensible Object, Play Impossible, Novel Effect, and Botnik have been covered in the likes of CNET, GeekWire, Mashable and WIRED for their innovation with voice. We’re excited about what’s ahead for all of them in the months to come.

What’s New in Voice Technology?

Voice technology has evolved considerably since we announced the program back in 2016. At the time, Alexa was available on three Amazon devices. Today, there is a whole family of Amazon Echo and Alexa devices,  and more than 50 Alexa-enabled products built by other device makers. Alexa is now truly everywhere… even within my own home, my family has grown from a household of two Echos to 10 (four of them with screens).

As Alexa has grown and evolved, so too have the enabling technologies that make the service possible. This, in turn, has created a whole new set of opportunities for startups.

In addition to domains such as connected home, entertainment and speech science, we see a number of new themes emerging that represent opportunity.

Enterprise

With the launch of Alexa for Business, there is also new opportunity for startups to help bring Alexa into the workplace. Twine was a part of our 2017 program and was an early launch partner for the Alexa for Business program. We now know what Alexa looks like in the home, but what about in a conference room, office lobby, or at your desk?

On the Go

Customers are increasingly taking Alexa with them on the go – whether that’s in their car, out on a run, with them on vacation – and companies are innovating to bring voice to wearables, mobile phones, connected fitness experiences and so much more. We can’t wait to see the next creative ideas startups will have for extending Alexa beyond the home.

Family-Focused Technology and Connected Play

Echo devices are designed for the whole family to use together. With the Verified Parental Consent functionality launched at the end of 2017, startups can now develop new voice experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Companies from our 2017 program like Play Impossible, Novel Effect, and Sensible Object are building new voice experiences for this segment.

Enabling Technologies and Developer Tools

As brands and businesses flock to Alexa in 2018, there’s an enormous opportunity for startups that can help make the transition to voice easier. Like Pulse Labs and Aspinity from our last program, we are interested in startups who bring the picks and shovels that enable products and services which incorporate voice in compelling new ways, following in the footsteps of Levi Strauss during the California Gold Rush.

We look forward to meeting the amazing startups that will join us for year two. Please join us over the next couple months in your city as the Alexa Accelerator team travels the world.

Upcoming Events: 

February 27: Seattle, WA 

March 6: San Francisco 

March 7: Los Angeles 

March 15: London 

March 19: Paris

March 25: Tel Aviv

March 27: Online AMA

April 2: New York 

April 3: Boston 








Live AMA: Alexa Accelerator, Powered by Techstars (Online)

Join us Thursday, April 13th at 12pm PT to learn more about the new Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars. We’re looking for the world’s best startups working with voice-powered technology and will be live with the team to answer your questions about the program, application process, and more.

Joining to answer your questions:

Aviel Ginzburg, Managing Director, Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars
Rodrigo Prudencio, Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars

Click here to register! 








Info Session: Techstars Alexa (Los Angeles)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Info Session

When: March 29

Where: Los Angeles

Details: Click here to register for the event!








Info Session: Techstars Alexa (San Francisco)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Info Session

When: March 28

Where: San Francisco

Details: Click here to register for the event!








Office Hours: Techstars Alexa (San Francisco)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Office hours

When: March 28

Where: San Francisco

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Info Session: Techstars Alexa (London)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Info Session

When: March 23

Where: London

Details: Click here to register for the event!
PLEASE JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF NETWORKING AND AN INFO SESSION ON THE ALEXA ACCELERATOR, POWERED BY TECHSTARS. OFFICE HOURS WITH THE TECHSTARS AND ALEXA TEAM WILL BE HELD BEFORE THE EVENT. IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SCHEDULING TIME WITH THE TEAM, PLEASE SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW:

Request Office Hours w/ the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars Here

More Info on the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

The Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars is looking for entrepreneurs advancing the state-of-the-art in voice-powered technologies, interfaces and applications. Created in partnership with Amazon’s Alexa Fund, the program focuses on Alexa domains such as connected home and car, wearables and hearables, communication devices and more. Participants will receive access to the teams and tech behind Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), Alexa Voice Services (AVS), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Launchpad.








Office Hours: Techstars Alexa (London)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Office hours

When: March 23

Where: London

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Office Hours: Techstars Alexa (Berlin)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Office hours

When: March 21

Where: Berlin

Details: Click here to register for office hours!








Info Session: Techstars Alexa (Berlin)

Who: Startups looking to apply to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars

What: Info Session

When: March 21

Where: Berlin

Details: Click here to register for the event!