Microsoft and American Family Insurance launch startup accelerator for home automation

The following post is from Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Experience & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft.


On Tuesday, we hosted a number startups at Microsoft’s Global Startup Day in San Francisco, all of which were from Microsoft accelerator and incubation programs. This event wasn’t just an excuse to celebrate the successful startups that we’ve nurtured – it was an affirmation that startups from anywhere in the world can find success, on their terms, working with Microsoft. Most of these startups were participants in our Microsoft Ventures Accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.

We chose San Francisco for this event to highlight these startups against the backdrop of the Bay Area, the gold standard for startup success. The startups highlighted during this day have witnessed market successes through their strong efforts and support from our accelerators, and we wanted to share their stories. It also provided the perfect opportunity to announce Microsoft Ventures’ first Accelerator inside the United States.

In partnership with American Family Insurance, we are launching our next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Seattle, to be hosted on Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Together, Microsoft and American Family Insurance will focus upon accelerating startups working on the next wave of services in home automation.

Every day, technology becomes a more integral part of our daily lives. Looking beyond the current wave of mobile and social companies, we are on the verge of a new wave of innovative companies that will go far beyond phones, creating a new wave of smart devices. With advances in sensor technology, cloud services and analytics tools, the homestead is the next frontier for startup innovation. Combining Microsoft’s deep technical expertise with American Family Insurance industry expertise, we are creating unique opportunities for startups building smarter, safer homes.

To help these startups grow, Microsoft is providing in-kind support in the form of space, access to dedicated mentorship and connections to its top customers, among many other resources…without taking any equity. American Family Insurance is also offering unique expertise, in addition to a minimum, optional $25,000 equity investment in each startup accepted into the program.

This will be an immersive experience, focused on launching world-class companies with an eye on the global marketplace.

Startups can find more information and apply at: www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/seattle.