Introducing the Inaugural Class of the Alexa Accelerator Program

At the beginning of March Aviel Ginzburg, the director of Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator program announced they were beginning to accept applications for the program’s inaugural class, powered by Techstars. Last week, the program announced the nine startups who will spend the next three months in Seattle working on their voice applications guided by mentors like Ben Straley, a consumer marketing leader at Amazon and Techstars founder David Cohen. Here is a list of the nine startups who made the cut:

Aspinity – Aims to “extend the lifetime and capabilities of IoT devices with innovations in analog processing”

Novel Effect – “The Novel Effect app syncs theme music and sound effects in real-time as you read a kids book aloud using voice recognition”

Play Impossible – An active gaming app, “digital magic added to everyday play”

Semantica Labs – AI support for customer service representatives

Sensible Object – “Making games for our connected world”

Tinitell – “Your Kid’s First Mobile Phone”

Twine – “Meeting Hardware for Slack”

uTuneIn – “Test your Alexa or Google Home voice apps with our community of user testers”

Botnik – Digital tools for self-expression

Investing in Alexa’s Future

The Alexa Accelerator program is part of the Alexa Fund, Amazon’s $100 million dollar investment to fuel voice technology innovation. It is interesting to note that three of the nine startups chosen are entertainment related, as it has been reported previously that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos believes that games are going to be that “killer app” for Alexa. We’ve seen hints of this before, with Amazon offering monetary rewards to game developers of popular Alexa skills. It looks like Amazon is sticking with this strategy. We’ll see if it pays off on October 17, when the program concludes with a Demo Day.

Amazon is Now Paying Game Developers of Popular Alexa Skills