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Startup Competition Guide

110799

Accelerators targeting bot startups

They include Botcamp, Elevate and Amazon Alexa

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
August 31, 2017
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4a11

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on bot companies:

 

Botcamp

"We are excited to announce botcamp, a new program at betaworks to help you build your bot and bot business. At betaworks we are seeing conversational interfaces becoming the new mobile design paradigm. We have been building, investing, and researching this area for some time, all reinforced and highlighted in the notifications work we did last fall. From Poncho, a messaging based weather service, to GIPHY bot in Slack, to the Digg news search bot, chat bots are establishing the most convenient way to interact with the services and media you love. Together with our partners, we aim to accelerate the bot ecosystem."

Investment amount: 8% of common stock in each company is allocated to betaworks. A $200,000 uncapped, SAFE note with a 25% discount is offered to all botcamp companies. 

Program benefits: 

  • ten weeks of programming at betaworks in New York City with optional office space for 1-2 cofounders
  • hands-on guidance from the betaworks team in areas such as product, platform integration, data science, branding and fundraising
  • sessions on various aspects of building your company from user acquisition to bot toolkits by the people who are building those platforms and tools
  • access to our early adopter network, openbeta
  • weekly speakers from all of the top platforms supporting chat bots
  • access to mentors from VC funds actively investing in the chat interface category
  • AWS Promotional Credit of up to $15,000 for 2 years or $100,000 for 1 year plus other benefits like Business Level support and technical office hours with AWS architects.

Mentor makeup: Twitter, Microsoft, Slack, Facebook, Amazon Alexa, Line, Kik, Discord, Skype, WeChat, The New York Times 

Portfolio companies: Hugging Face, Zoom.ai, Statsbot, Coach Otto

 

ELEVATE

"ELEVATE combines TheVentury’s expertise of building, marketing and scaling startups with hands-on tech know-how of designing, building and marketing bots into one acceleration program."

Investment amount: 8% equity

Program benefits: 

  • 160 hours of hands-on marketing & growth hacking support from our experts and hands-on coding support from senior developers
  • 100 hours of coaching & mentoring by international top experts
  • 5,000€ for travel expenses, formation of company, etc.
  • Possibility to use office space
  • Support in building your pitch deck, coaching and pitch training

Mentor makeup: Amir Shevat, Christoph Auer-Welsbach, Greg Leuch, Peter Buchroithner

Portfolio companies: Tonia.ai, iconicBot, Selly, Jingle

 

Synechron

"Synechron’s Artificial Intelligence platform – Neo – was developed in our Financial Innovation Labs (FinLabs) to help the financial services industry capitalize on this opportunity. Neo uniquely brings together Synechron’s digital, business consulting and technology capabilities, allowing financial institutions to deploy cutting-edge AI solutions that solve complex business challenges using Natural Language Processing (NLP), Chatbots, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Machine Learning, Data Science, and Robo-Advisor for financial services."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits: Synechron’s Artificial Intelligence-based accelerator solutions empower financial institutions to obtain:

  • Automation of processes using automated data extraction, voice commands and automatically generated text based on understanding of human language leads to higher accuracy, margins, and more standardized Omni-channel operations.
  • Visible increase in auditability and cost-savings achieved due to reduced FTE operations cost by automating manual, labor-intensive business processes. Operationalization of processes for increased dependability and transparency further enhances compliance workflows and audit trails.
  • Increased efficiency, turnaround time and precision on data modeling and calculations achieved by focusing on real-time price for reporting related to treasury and finance regulations

Portfolio companies: None yet

 

"As Boost VC has been recruiting for Tribe 9, starting in February 2017, we have found great entrepreneurs in Blockchain, VR, AR, AI, Chatbots, Smart transportation, Space and what we have realized is that there is one phrase that encompasses all that Boost VC represents: We are a family of founders making sci-fi a reality!"

Investment amount: Boost invests up to $50k in exchange for 7% of the company

Program benefits: We give our companies a place to live & work, an unparalleled network, and time to focus on their startup. We are deeply committed to helping educate and accelerate entrepreneurs as they build a technology company.

Mentor makeup: Tim Draper, Sean Percival, Jens Christensen, Meron Gribetz, Bill Barhydt

Portfolio companies: LeadFlip, SenseiHub, Visabot

 

The Alexa Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a startup accelerator created by the Alexa Fund and built around the belief that voice will fundamentally improve the way we interact with technology."

Investment amount:  A $100,000 convertible note is automatically offered to all Techstars companies upon acceptance, as well as $20,000 in exchange for 6% common stock. Participants will receive an investment from Techstars and Alexa Fund.

Program benefits: 

  • Access to Techstars resources for life
  • Acceleration in a 90-day Techstars program with intense, hands-on mentorship from Techstars Mentors
  • Connections to the Techstars Network of over 5,000 founders, alumni and mentors globally
  • 400 perks worth over $1M
  • Office space for three months
  • Demo Day and other investor connections
  • Equity Back Guarantee, the only one of its kind in the industry

 Mentor makeup: Brad Feld, David Cohen, David Limp, Paul Bernard

Portfolio companies: Semantica, Botnik

(Image source: phrasee.co)

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