Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced that it is launching a new startup accelerator in Redmond, Washington that focuses on home automation and the “Internet of Things.” Microsoft is partnering with American Family Insurance on the accelerator.
The startups will work on ways to improve how people use technology in their homes. The accelerator was unveiled at Microsoft?s Global Startup Day in San Francisco. It will be housed at the Microsoft campus in Redmond and will run from September to December of this year.
The companies that are accepted in the accelerator will be provided with education and mentorship about how to build companies. Microsoft Ventures General Manager Rahul Sood said that software startups should be comfortable with applying. Sood said that this is not a hardware accelerator. American Family Insurance will offer a $25,000 equity investment to the startups that want extra funding.
The startups will also be able to test their new products with a set of American Family Insurance customers. This accelerator is part of Microsoft Ventures.
Microsoft Ventures runs accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv, but this is the first one in the U.S.
Microsoft does not take an equity stake in the companies that go through the accelerators, but it will likely benefit from getting companies started on products like Windows and the Azure cloud platform. You can apply for the accelerator program here.