Amazon is now accepting applications for its second Alexa Accelerator cohort. The 13-week program, which launched last year and is run in partnership with Techstars, will accept 10 startups that will work out of Seattle. This year it will also welcome up to three additional companies that will participate from Techstars’ office in London. Amazon also has offices in London and Cambridge, and acquired UK-based voice recognition app Evi in 2013.
Amazon and Techstars, which also runs a separate Seattle accelerator program, invest an initial $20,000 in each company for 6 percent common stock, with potential for an additional $100,000 convertible note.
Participating startups incorporate Alexa, Amazon’s popular artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered voice platform. You can read about the first cohort here.
The accelerator is part of Amazon’s $100 million Alexa Fund, which launched in 2015 and is used by Amazon to invest in companies that will push the boundaries of voice-based interaction. The tech giant has already invested in more than 30 startups as part of the fund.
The Information reported Tuesday about risks that startups take when taking money from Amazon’s Alexa Fund. “While Amazon’s backing helps the startups build their businesses, sometimes Amazon decides to go into the market directly,” The Information reported. “It can either offer to buy the startup or simply make the product itself.”
The Alexa Accelerator runs July through September, with Demo Day in October. Applications are due April 8. Information sessions will be held in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv, New York City, Boston, and Toronto.