Microsoft, American Family Insurance launch home automation startup accelerator

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and American Family Insurance are launching a unique business accelerator for startups focused on home automation.

The accelerator will help the next generation of startups create advancements that can help lead to safer and smarter homes. Startups interested in participating in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in partnership with American Family Insurance can apply at http://www.microsoftventures.com/accelerators/seattle.

The new Microsoft Ventures Accelerator was announced at the tech company´s Global Startup Day in San Francisco, celebrating startups from several of its programs around the world that are seeing market traction. Microsoft currently runs startup accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv. The new accelerator will be hosted on its campus in Redmond and conducted September through December. By working with American Family Insurance, a leading multiline insurance company, the program will connect startups with experts in the industry.

“Home automation is ripe for startup innovation,” said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president, Developer Experience and Evangelism for Microsoft. “We are working closely with American Family Insurance to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for entrepreneurs in our accelerator. Startups accepted into the program will gain critical industry insight to build companies with the potential to have an enormous impact on our lives.”

The accelerator provides mentorship, workspace and an immersive experience focused on launching world-class companies with an eye on the global marketplace. American Family Insurance, the eighth largest homeowners´ insurer in the US, will provide deep industry experience, important consumer insights and a wealth of homeowner knowledge that would be impossible for young companies to gain access to on their own. American Family Insurance is also offering a minimum optional USD25,000 equity investment in each startup accepted into the program.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business insurance and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. Learn more at www.amfam.com.

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