Nine startups from across the world spent the past three months as part of the second cohort of the Alexa Accelerator, a Seattle-based program co-led by Techstars and Amazon.
Entrepreneurs built out B2C and B2B technologies that incorporate Alexa, Amazon’s artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered voice platform. On Tuesday, the program culminated with a Demo Night at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, with investors, entrepreneurs, and other community members in the audience.
The pitches offered a glimpse into the future of a fast-growing voice recognition industry, with ideas ranging from a virtual assistant inside science laboratories to technology that helps people with speech disabilities.
“What’s been different this time is seeing how much more mature the Alexa service is, and how much more mature the companies are around this,” Aviel Ginzburg, managing director of the Alexa Accelerator, told GeekWire. “All of these companies are building meaningful businesses.”
Amazon partners with Techstars to run the 3-month program, which provides an initial $20,000 in each company for 6 percent common stock, with potential for an additional $100,000 convertible note. The accelerator is part of Amazon’s $200 million Alexa Fund, which launched in 2015 and is used by Amazon to invest in companies that will push the boundaries of voice-based interaction.
Five of the nine startups in the first cohort raised investment after the accelerator; the initial fundraising efforts for the inaugural class was one of the most successful in Techstars history.
Read about all the pitches, including Blutag's, here!