Evernote, Honda and Docomo launch new accelerator

Month long program will start this fall, and accept winners of Evernote's 2013 Devcup competition

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 16, 2013
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Note-taking app Evernote clearly wants to expand its platform. It already has an API that developers can use to create new programs, and a whole competition dedicated to rewarding those who do. But now the company is taking the opportunity to nurture some of those startups that expand it's capabilities.

To accomplish this, Evernote is teaming up with Honda, as well the Japanese mobile carrier Docomo, to launch the Evernote Accelerator, it was announced in a blogpost Tuesday. 

The Evernote Accelerator is a one-month long residency program that will take place at Evernote’s headquarters, located in Redwood City, California. The company says that it is going to work with a small number of teams, six at the most, "and do everything we can to help them build their ideas into successful products and businesses."

"Our driving goal at Evernote is to help make people smarter. That’s a big mission, and we never planned on pursuing it alone. In 2008 we opened up the Evernote APIs to developers to see what other smarts-enhancing apps smart people could build. It’s time to take things further. We want to help developers build not just great products that work alongside Evernote, but great businesses that do, too," Rafe Needleman, Platform Advocate at Evernote, wrote.

Participants in the Evernote Accelerator will be chosen from among the winners of its 2013 Devcup competition, the company's annual Hackathon in which it "challenges developers and designers from around the world to build products that extend the functionality of Evernote, helping users to capture, share, and recall all of the most important things in their lives."

"This year, in addition to awarding Devcup winners cash prizes and trips to San Francisco (for our third annual Evernote Conference), we will invite some of the best winning teams to our Accelerator program," said Needleman.

The Accelerator will go from October 21 to November 15, and will include a curriculum to help launch early-stage companies; workshops with Evernote engineers, designers, and business execs; talks and sessions with notable technology leaders; a public closing gala where the new businesses are rolled out to the world; and group activities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The developers themselves do not have to give up anything to join, said Needleman.

"This program isn’t taking equity in its participant startups. We want our developers to succeed, and when they do, Evernote will succeed with them."

In fact Evernote says that it will provide  travel, housing, and office space inside the Evernote headquarter to the participants, "as well as Evernote’s legendary daily team lunches in our cafeteria, and a stipend to cover additional living expenses."

When your Accelerator term is over, Evernote will help spread the word about the products that were developer  in the Evernote Trunk, highlight the project at a gala closing ceremony, and help the developers "move to your next big thing, in Silicon Valley or elsewhere."

And of course, there is the possibility that Evernote "might even figure out a way to work with you or your company for longer."

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