Microsoft launches the Kinect Accelerator

In mid-November, Microsoft announced its launch of the Kinect Accelerator, a Seattle-based accelerator program powered by Techstars.

Since then, hundreds of applications have poured in from hackers and entrepreneurs eager to tap into the possibilities of the infinite motion sensing world. What innovative idea that leverages the Kinect do you have? Remember that Kinect is not just for XBox anymore, it’s also going to be widely available on Windows and I’m expecting a whole new array of interesting applications beyond gaming.

Ten accepted companies will receive an equity investment of $20K in exchange for six percent common equity. Microsoft will not retain intellectual property or equity in any of the participating companies but will provide provisioned Xbox development kits, Kinect hardware, the Kinect for Windows SDK and space for testing and developing during the program. Microsoft BizSpark will also supply each of the companies with a full complement of Microsoft development tools and support. The program is managed by Dave Malcolm, who has the distinct knowledge and advantage of being a current Techstars mentor and former Microsoft executive.

Powered by Techstars means that the three month program will be fueled by proven mentor-driven methodology and conclude with a demo day in which founders pitch their Kinect application to a room of potential investors. Microsoft may also collaborate with certain companies to publish their products through Microsoft distribution channels.

Some of the mentors include:

Myself, Founder/CEO, Techstars
Jeff Powers, Founder, Occipital
Andrew Tschesnok, Founder, Organic Motion
Manu Kumar, Investor, K-9 Ventures
Eran Egozy, Founder and CTO, Harmonix
Eric Norlin, Organizer, Blur, Defrag, and Glue conferences
Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group
Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group

And folks from Microsoft:

Dan’l Lewin, Corporate VP, Strategic and Emerging Business Development
Craig Eisler, General Manager, Kinect for Windows
Phil Spencer, VP, Microsoft Games Studios
Anoop Gupta, Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Research
Michael Mott, General Manager, Microsoft Games Studios
Rick Martinez, Executive Producer, Microsoft Studios
Dave Drach, Managing Director, Emerging Business Team
Adam Isgreen, Creative Director, Microsoft Studios
Jeff Matsushita, Executive Producer, Microsoft Studios
Rhys Dekle, Director, Business Development, Microsoft Studios

Applications are open and due by January 25th, 2012 at midnight GMT.

The program will run from March to May of 2012. If you have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to check out the FAQ.

What will you do with Kinect?

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