January 26, 2015
The team from the Digital Work Accelerator has been traveling across the country to conduct pitch events and information sessions to help startups apply to the accelerator. Got a question? Add your question here: Click to Tweet: @MSFTVentures @techcocktail #digitalwork #Q&A
For the past two weeks, the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator team has visited Denver, Provo, Seattle, Austin, New York City, Silicon Valley, and Chicago. In each city, they’ve met with startups and other ecosystem enthusiasts who gathered to pitch, learn, listen, and connect. This week, the tour wraps up with visits to Los Angeles,
Boston (note: inclement weather has caused the cancellation of the Boston event), DC, and San Francisco.
Time is running out to get your application in for the Digital Work Accelerator! Microsoft is looking to bring startup teams to work directly on their Redmond campus, interact with Microsoft technologists and mentors, and prove their product in this highly engaged environment. According to Microsoft Ventures,
“Our goal is to provide startups with our design and technology expertise, combined with customer insights and enterprise-scale capabilities. With our connections, expertise and desire to help startups, we believe we can be the catalyst to empower your growth.
We will choose great founders who are proposing solutions that solve real problems or create meaningful innovations. Minimally, startups should have a strong founding team with a mix of business and technical expertise. We are looking for companies innovating and contributing to make enterprises more productive, collaborative and efficient.”
The Microsoft Ventures team regrets to announce that the Boston event cannot be held due to weather conditions, but we’d like to encourage Boston startups to reach out with questions by tweeting or emailing SeattleAccelerator@Microsoft.
We met with Victor Jablokov, founder of Wallflower, a home automation tool that will improve the safety and security of kitchen appliances. The Wallflower team is based in Boston, but they graduated from the Seattle-based accelerator in the last cohort, which partnered with American Family Insurance to accelerate home automation startups.
“We went into the accelerator program without a prototype, but left with a full implementation of our product,” Jablokov shared. “Microsoft assigned architecture experts to give our engineers real help and guidance on building out our cloud infrastructure and design sprint, in order to get us to that implementation.”
The other reasons that Jablokov, who had exited with a previous company and used some personal funds to finance Wallflower, was impressed with the program include the ability to learn from the other founders moving through the accelerator at the same time. Where some startups already had moved through hardware and manufacturing challenges, they could learn from those who have experience building businesses, building a team, and making industry contacts. Additionally, the partners introduced through the Microsoft Ventures accelerator – specifically American Family, are interested in joint products with the team at Wallflower.
The Digital Work Accelerator closes applications this Friday, January 30. The program will begin in Seattle on March 16 and will culminate with a Demo Day on July 16. If you can’t attend one of the information sessions, check out this FAQ or send an e-mail to SeattleAccelerator@Microsoft.
Upcoming Information Sessions:
Be sure to send in your startup’s application for this accelerator class right away!
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