"Alexa, help me grow my startup."
WATERLOO, Ont. Canada’s top ranked private business accelerator, the Accelerator Centre, has today announced the second cohort of Canada’s premiere Voice Technology Accelerator Program in collaboration with Amazon’s venture capital fund, the Alexa Fund. Applications will be open for entrepreneurs across the country on Monday, October 5 through to Sunday, October 18.
The first of its kind program in Canada, the Voice Technology Accelerator Program comprises of the Accelerator Centre’s world-renowned programming, 42 hours of one-to-one mentorship sessions, potential access to grants and funding, invites to technical sessions with Amazon staff, select access to Amazon’s mentor network, and exclusive Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credits for first time users. The six-month program is allowing selected companies to choose to enroll in-house at any of the Accelerator Centre’s locations in Waterloo Region or to join fully remotely, with the option to continue in The Accelerator Program upon cohort completion.
“The Voice Technology Accelerator Program builds on our proven program model and is specialized for software, hardware and service companies that have the potential to integrate with Alexa, or that directly incorporate Alexa already,” says Clinton Ball, director of programs and client experience at the Accelerator Centre. “After a successful pilot, we’re excited to offer the program again to help accelerate even more Canadian voice technologies.”
The first cohort of the program, which began December 2019, included nine Canadian start-ups from a wide variety of industries, demonstrating the widespread appeal of voice technology advancements in nearly every sector. Justin Schorn of Chirp, a start-up that specializes in non-evasive activity and fall monitoring for at-risk adults and their caregivers, says the Voice Technology Accelerator Program served his company well.
“It was incredibly valuable to us. We had the chance to be connected directly to Amazon, which helped accelerate our product development,” Schorn says.
Selected companies will have the unique opportunity to work with the Accelerator Centre’s product management mentor, Don Thompson, and manufacturing and supply chain management specialist, David Perston. Thompson formerly served as a senior manager at Amazon Lab126, an inventive San Francisco Bay Area development team that designs and engineers high-profile consumer electronic devices such as Kindle e-readers, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and more, while Perston holds over 35 years’ experience in high-tech supply chain design and consumer electronics, previously North’s VP, manufacturing.
For more information on the Accelerator Centre’s Voice Technology Accelerator Program, visit its program page.
About the Accelerator Centre
The Accelerator Centre is an award-winning start-up accelerator dedicated to building and scaling sustainable, globally competitive companies and giving start-ups the highest probability of long-term success. It is currently ranked as Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and a Top Five accelerator in the world due to, in part, a reputation for meaningful, one-to-one mentorship and helping entrepreneurs go from the idea stage to high-growth enterprises.
About the Alexa Fund
The Alexa Fund provides up to $200 million in venture capital funding to fuel voice technology innovation. We believe experiences designed around the human voice will fundamentally improve the way people use technology. Since introducing Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, we’ve heard from developers, device-makers, and companies of all sizes that want to innovate with voice. Whether that’s creating new Alexa capabilities with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), building devices that use Alexa for new and novel voice experiences using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), inventing core voice-enabling technology, or developing a product or service that can expand the boundaries of voice technology, we’d love to talk to you.
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