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Amazon today announced the launch of its second Alexa Accelerator. The 13-week program for creators of voice experiences is held primarily in Seattle and is managed by TechStars. For the first time, three startups from TechStars’ London offices will be allowed to participate.
Each of the up to 13 early-stage startups and companies chosen to participate in the program will receive an undisclosed investment from the Alexa Fund, an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat.
The accelerator is paid for by the Alexa Fund and is aimed at boosting the ecosystem for Amazon’s voice assistant. With an emphasis on international expansion, a second Alexa Fund for investment of up to $100 million in startups and initiatives in the voice computing space was announced last November. At that time, an Amazon spokesperson declined to state whether a second accelerator would take place.
The second class of the Alexa Accelerator is looking for ideas that can harness initiatives Amazon is currently growing in areas ranging from transportation to health and entertainment, the company said in a blog post today.
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“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 Amazon developer blog post said.
The Alexa Accelerator team led by TechStar’s Aviel Ginzburg will hold promotional events in 10 cities around the world, including San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and Tel Aviv.
Applications are due April 8, and the program will be held from July to September, culminating in a Demo Day in October.
The inaugural Alexa Accelerator was attended by nine startups and developed such products as the Play Impossible game ball and the When in Rome board game with Alexa.
Earlier this month Pulse Labs, another recent standout from the inaugural Alexa Fund class, closed a $2.5 million funding round with participation from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, TechStars Ventures, and Bezos Expedition, an investment arm of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
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