Amazon has a shiny new startup accelerator to advance conversational AI

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Large tech firms have been creating accelerators left and proper to evangelize their manufacturers and get builders engaged with APIs and different open-source efforts. Right this moment, Amazon joined the gang by asserting a brand new program for startups creating conversational AI.

That is Amazon’s first foray into the world of accelerator applications, although its $100 million Alexa Fund has already invested in 22 firms inside the house. These investments have occurred throughout varied firm levels and verticals. Extra not too long ago, Amazon created the Alexa Prize for conversational AI, tasking college college students with constructing bots that may really maintain a dialog.

Doug Booms, VP of corp dev for Amazon (wink, wink, additionally accountable for Amazon M&A), defined to TechCrunch that the brand new accelerator wasn’t designed to be a feeder for the Alexa Fund nor to be a subsequent step for groups competing for the Alexa Prize.

Amazon’s accelerator technique appears quite open-ended at this level. No formal constraints have been set as to what sorts of startups will probably be welcome within the batch that might embody groups engaged on related vehicles, good houses and all the things in-between.

Fairly than go it alone, the whole 13-week program is being run in partnership with Techstars. Amazon first approached the accelerator a couple of potential partnership to assist conversational AI. In the beginning of this system, members will obtain an preliminary $20,000 funding from Amazon and Techstars, and be eligible for an extra funding of as much as $100,000 within the type of a convertible notice. Chosen firms will probably be housed in house rented from the College of Washington. Founders will probably be given publicity to mentors from each teams.

Startups can start making use of for this system in January. Amazon and Techstars will probably be internet hosting joint data periods in main cities all over the world earlier than this system begins in July. As is typical with most accelerators, a demo day will probably be held in October for buyers to view firm shows and work together with founders.

Featured Picture: Bryce Durbin

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Désiré LeSage

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