Microsoft is looking for a few good home-automation startups for its next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program, happening August through December on the company’s Redmond campus.
Microsoft Ventures, the overarching umbrella under which the company groups its efforts aimed at fostering tech startups, includes the Accelerator program, in which select startups are chosen for a 3- to 6-month immersive experience; the BizSpark program, which provides tools, technology and mentorship to startups in communities worldwide; and the Seed Fund, which provides investments to early-stage companies. Microsoft formed the umbrella group in June 2013, though some of its programs predate the naming of the Ventures group.
The home-automation Accelerator, launched in partnership with American Family Insurance, “will focus upon accelerating startups working on the next wave of services in home automation,” Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft’s chief evangelist, said in a blog post. “With advances in sensor technology, cloud services and analytics tools, the homestead is the next frontier for startup innovation.”
Microsoft is providing space for the Accelerator, along with mentorship and networking opportunities. American Family Insurance is offering a minimum, optional $25,000 equity investment in each startup accepted into the program. Mentors and advisers include folks from Madrona Venture Group, Ignition Partners and Starbucks, among others.
Startups can find information and apply at www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/seattle.