Insurance Technology Featured Article

Microsoft, American Family Insurance Team Introduce Startup Accelerator

June 23, 2014

Microsoft Corp. has recently formed new partnership with WI-based American Family Insurance, to introduce new startup accelerator that will be accommodated at its headquarters outside Seattle, with focus on companies innovating in home automation.

The new Microsoft (News - Alert) Ventures Accelerator will run September through December at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash, campus. This program will primarily connect startups with experts in the industry.

In addition to this, the young companies can make use of the accelerator to know more about mentorship, workspace and way to place itself along with other world-class companies in the global marketplace.

American Family Insurance, one of the largest homeowners' insurers in the U.S., will offer deep industry experience, significant consumer insights and a wealth of homeowner knowledge to startup companies. Also, American Family Insurance is offering a minimum optional $25,000 equity investment in each startup introduced into the program.

"Home automation is ripe for startup innovation," said Steve Guggenheimer (News - Alert), corporate vice president, Developer Experience and Evangelism for Microsoft.

Guggenheimer said that they are working closely with American Family Insurance to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for entrepreneurs in their accelerator and startups accepted into the program will gain critical industry insight to build companies with the potential to have an enormous impact on their lives.

Microsoft’s venture capital arm currently runs startup accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv. Microsoft has also partnered with Techstars to run an accelerator in Seattle focused on Kinect and Windows Azure.

According to the sources, Microsoft and American Family began talking last October about teaming up on an accelerator, and they had a mutual interest in the connectivity theme.

Dan Reed, managing director at American Family Ventures said that working closely with startups and making early-stage investments in emerging technology companies is a great way to support the ecosystem and also benefit their customers.

“We look forward to working with the next generation of companies that are reimagining the connected home," Reed added.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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