Amazon seeks startups who can innovate around Alexa

The company's second Techstars-backed accelerator will start in July

Innovation

Amazon has announced the next round of the Alexa Fund, with three companies chosen from Techstars' London location to take part.

This is the latest accelerator created by Amazon and Techstars and is designed to encourage more innovation focused on voice technologies.

In total, 13 startups will take part in the scheme and will work alongside Techstars, Amazon, and the Alexa Fund to develop their products and develop their business models. 

Businesses selected by Amazon will receive an undisclosed sum from Amazon to develop their ideas, with additional investment from the Alexa Fund, which is prepared to invest $100 million into voice startups.

Companies will be selected by the Alexa Accelerator team, led by TechStar's Aviel Ginzburg, at promotional events around the world, including San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Berlin and Tel Aviv. Amazon is inviting startups to apply by April and the accelerator itself will run for two months, between July and September. It will end with a demo day in October, where those taking part will present their innovations to everyone.

"We believe voice will fundamentally improve the way people interact with technology and this program aims to empower the next wave of entrepreneurs who are innovating with voice," the Alexa Fund's senior portfolio manager said in a blog post.

"We are excited to uncover Alexa innovation in categories such as smart home, entertainment, finance, enterprise, communications, automobile and transportation, health and wellness, connected learning, connected devices, hardware components, and other enabling technologies."

The scheme is an extension of Amazon's 2017 Alexa Accelerator, a 13-week mentoring programme that closed last October. It attracted applications from more than 50 countries and nine businesses were chosen to take part.

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