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Techstars teams up with ad agency R/GA for a new connected devices accelerator

Above: The Nest learning thermostat

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

The age of the connected device is coming, and Techstars and R/GA want to help it along.

The startup accelerator is teaming up with the New York City-based ad agency to launch an accelerator dedicated to startups building connected devices and related services.

While the program’s scope seems pretty broad, it does focus on a few key areas: R/GA is, for example, particularly interested in any startups that touch on topics like new business models for 3D printing, wearable technology, smart sensors, and home automation tech — among other things. “If it’s an innovative idea that is in the connected devices space, then we want to hear about it,” the agency says.

Via the three-month program, which is aptly dubbed the “R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator,” R/GA will give member startups full access to its resources, offering lessons in design, branding, prototype development (via MakerBot 3D printers), and logo design. Because of the partnership with Techstars, the startups will also be able to take advantage of the accelerator’s mentor network as well.

There’s also some money involved: Every team accepted into the program is eligible for $120,000 in funding.

Essentially, the program is all about giving startups with good ideas the knowledge and access necessary to actually sell those ideas. Think of a device like the Nest thermostat, which is not only well-designed, but also has its own compelling branding. For device startups, putting together the hardware is only half the battle.

The application window starts today and runs until October 11th. Techstars plans to announce the first ten member startups in November, and the program begins in early December. Interested companies can apply here.

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