Meet the Third Amazon Alexa Accelerator Startup Class
The 2019 Alexa Accelerator is officially underway. This is the third year of the 13-week program that was created in partnership with The Alexa Fund and American seed accelerator Techstars to support early-stage startups. The accelerator is hosted in Seattle and gives chosen companies the opportunity to expand their network and engage with investors and mentors, while also incorporating Alexa into their venture. Companies end the program with a pitch of their business model at Demo Day on October 15th.
- Ambit (San Francisco, CA): Voice analysis to improve communication in corporate settings.
- Anycart (Mountain View, CA): Integrated shopping and cooking app to recommend recipes and ingredients and also provide step-by-step video cooking instructions.
- Ejenta (San Francisco, CA): Uses exclusive NASA technology to allow healthcare providers to remotely observe patients.
- EX-IQ (Dover, DE): Learning and productivity platform that turns documents into interactive audio files which can be commanded via voice or touch.
- Midgame (New York, NY): Game-specific interactive agents that help gamers and esports teams improve in-game communication.
- nFlux (Los Angeles, CA): Designed to better understand unstructured data through natural language.
- togethAR (Seattle, WA): Software company that builds social augmented reality experiences.
- VoiceHero (Seattle, WA): Suite of tools created for voices apps to help businesses in the marketing of their voice products.
- YOURIKA (Waterloo, ON): Intelligent learning platform encompassing natural language understanding and cognitive models.
Accelerator Alumni Capture Follow-On Financing
Many participants in the first two Amazon Accelerators have gone on to receive funding after Demo Day. Among those companies are London-based Sensible Objects and voice app testing service Pulse Labs, both from the 2017 class. Jargon, a conversational localization solution from the 2018 class raised $120,000 as part of the Alexa Accelerator and took in another $1.8 million in funding in March 2019.
Storytelling app Novel Effect pitched their idea to investors on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank that aired just two weeks after their 2017 Demo Day. The founders, married couple Matt and Melissa Hammersley, accepted a deal with “the Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner for a 15% stake in their company. The following year they raised another $3M in a Series A round. However, the most notable alumni so far is Sensible Object because it was acquired by Niantic in June 2019, less than two years after graduating from the accelerator.