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Maybe this new incubator will help play a part in the tennis shoe of the future. Nike and TechStars today announced the formation of the Nike+ Accelerator in which 10 startup companies will be invited to participate in the three month startup program.

Nike said the goal is to “build offerings that inspire and assist people to live more active, healthy lifestyles.”

The application deadline is February 3rd, with the program starting in March in Portland. Companies will focus efforts on Nike+ FuelBandNike+ Running and NikeFuel, with Nike providing technical resources and mentorship.

The concept is similar to TechStars’ partnerships with Microsoft, which has run specialized incubator programs around technologies such as Kinect and Windows Azure. In the case with Microsoft and Nike, neither company takes a direct equity stake in the companies participating in the portfolio, nor do they retain rights to the intellectual property of the startups.

However, TechStars receives a six percent equity stake of the participating companies, which also receive $20,000 in startup funds.

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