Frequently Asked Questions
What is the newly announced Alexa Next Stage, powered by Techstars?
We're excited to partner with Alexa Fund for the fourth consecutive year. To build on the last three years' success, we're evolving our partnership to address emerging gaps and opportunities in the startup ecosystem.

The latest iteration of our program is designed to support the growth of later stage startups by offering direct access to Amazon's mentors, leadership and business units. Startups will explore strategic integrations and partnership opportunities throughout the program, while the Techstars team will also prepare participants to navigate business challenges commonly faced by rapidly scaling organizations.
Why did you create a virtual program?
  • Techstars has developed best practices for running virtual programs through its experience and success running the Techstars Anywhere accelerator program.

  • Later stage companies have a business to run, and we do not want the program to interfere with their day-to-day operations. By creating a virtual program we're able to deliver incredible programming with minimal distraction and no relocation requirements.

  • The virtual nature enables us to work across several time zones, opening up the program to participants located in the EU, UK and the Americas.
What is happening to the Alexa Accelerator?
Our partnership has pivoted to fully focus on the Alexa Next Stage, Powered by Techstars. The Alexa Accelerator, Powered by Techstars will no longer run.
Why is Alexa Fund partnering with Techstars?
Alexa Fund has partnered with Techstars over the past few years to leverage its depth and expertise within the startup ecosystem. Techstars has spent nearly 15 years working with startups. During this time, Techstars has developed program content specifically designed to de-risk startups, and built a powerful network of mentors, investors and alumni. This uniquely positions Techstars as the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and a leading partner of dozens of corporations, including Alexa Fund.
What type of startups will be considered for the program?
The Next Stage program is looking for rapidly scaling, later-stage companies building a wide range of products, including devices that work with Alexa or have Alexa built-in; software and services that leverage voice technology; developer tools that service voice-first businesses; and core technologies like AI and machine learning that enable better voice experiences.
What criteria will you use to select the startups?
  • We're looking at a few different factors when selecting startups to be part of the program.

  • Startup companies with software and services that leverage and/or improve voice technology are being recruited to apply.

  • We're looking for rapidly scaling startups with a diverse team, mature product offering, and strong customer interest or adoption.

  • We look for teams that can execute quickly as they work alongside Amazon employees to explore opportunities and leverage Alexa's Voice Services and Skills Kit to expand and improve their product offerings.

  • Additionally, we consider what market the product or service is targeting, what progress the company has made so far, and the strength of the idea.
Who makes the selection decision about the applicants?
Decisions will be made collaboratively by a selection committee comprised of Alexa Fund and Techstars staff.
Will Amazon, Alexa Fund and Techstars recruit for the program? How?
Yes, we want a strong and diverse pool of candidates, so we will recruit across Europe and the Americas. We plan to hold online AMAs and perform targeted recruitment while applications remain open.
What is the timing of the program?
  • Selected startups will participate in an 8-week immersive program starting in June with a kick off in Seattle, WA.

  • At the end of the program we will host an Innovation Showcase event for mentors, corporate leaders, investors, and the startup community.

  • Applications are open from March 16th to April 13th.

Do applicants have to be from certain geographies or can anyone apply?
  • The Next Stage program will stretch across nine time zones, allowing companies from the Americas and Europe to apply. The virtual nature of our program allows us to expand our geographic reach, while removing relocation requirements for participants.

  • Accepted companies are required to spend two weeks at Amazon's Seattle's headquarters; additional visits to Seattle, WA are optional. Space may be available to startups who choose to work periodically from Seattle.
What kind of funding and support do the startups receive?
  • Each startup receives up to a $150,000 initial investment from Amazon's Alexa Fund in the form of a convertible note. Startups issue preferred warrants valued at $150,000 to Techstars and grant participation rights for future rounds of financing to both Alexa Fund and Techstars.

  • Each startup receives intensive mentorship and access to Techstars' network of corporate partners, mentors, investors and founders.

  • Teams will receive a dedicated resource from Amazon that will offer direct access to business units within the organization.

  • Techstars' Managing Director becomes an extension of your team during the program. The Managing Director helps to create a direct path into the organization, allowing you to execute quickly on your roadmap.
Does Alexa Fund or Techstars automatically get a board seat or role with the startups?
  • No. Alexa Fund becomes a minority shareholder with their $150,000 investment. Techstars does not ask for a board seat.

  • Alexa Fund and Techstars dedicate incredible resources to help startups during and after the program. If startups have a mutual interest in working together further, with either Alexa Fund or Techstars, then an agreement can be made. This is not expected, however.
What is the newly announced Alexa Next Stage, powered by Techstars?
We're excited to partner with Alexa Fund for the fourth consecutive year. To build on the last three years' success, we're evolving our partnership to address emerging gaps and opportunities in the startup ecosystem.

The latest iteration of our program is designed to support the growth of later stage startups by offering direct access to Amazon's mentors, leadership and business units. Startups will explore strategic integrations and partnership opportunities throughout the program, while the Techstars team will also prepare participants to navigate business challenges commonly faced by rapidly scaling organizations.
Why did you create a virtual program?
  • Techstars has developed best practices for running virtual programs through its experience and success running the Techstars Anywhere accelerator program.

  • Later stage companies have a business to run, and we do not want the program to interfere with their day-to-day operations. By creating a virtual program we're able to deliver incredible programming with minimal distraction and no relocation requirements.

  • The virtual nature enables us to work across several time zones, opening up the program to participants located in the EU, UK and the Americas.
What is happening to the Alexa Accelerator?
Our partnership has pivoted to fully focus on the Alexa Next Stage, Powered by Techstars. The Alexa Accelerator, Powered by Techstars will no longer run.
Why is Alexa Fund partnering with Techstars?
Alexa Fund has partnered with Techstars over the past few years to leverage its depth and expertise within the startup ecosystem. Techstars has spent nearly 15 years working with startups. During this time, Techstars has developed program content specifically designed to de-risk startups, and built a powerful network of mentors, investors and alumni. This uniquely positions Techstars as the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and a leading partner of dozens of corporations, including Alexa Fund.
What type of startups will be considered for the program?
The Next Stage program is looking for rapidly scaling, later-stage companies building a wide range of products, including devices that work with Alexa or have Alexa built-in; software and services that leverage voice technology; developer tools that service voice-first businesses; and core technologies like AI and machine learning that enable better voice experiences.
What criteria will you use to select the startups?
  • We're looking at a few different factors when selecting startups to be part of the program.

  • Startup companies with software and services that leverage and/or improve voice technology are being recruited to apply.

  • We're looking for rapidly scaling startups with a diverse team, mature product offering, and strong customer interest or adoption.

  • We look for teams that can execute quickly as they work alongside Amazon employees to explore opportunities and leverage Alexa's Voice Services and Skills Kit to expand and improve their product offerings.

  • Additionally, we consider what market the product or service is targeting, what progress the company has made so far, and the strength of the idea.
Who makes the selection decision about the applicants?
Decisions will be made collaboratively by a selection committee comprised of Alexa Fund and Techstars staff.
Will Amazon, Alexa Fund and Techstars recruit for the program? How?
Yes, we want a strong and diverse pool of candidates, so we will recruit across Europe and the Americas. We plan to hold online AMAs and perform targeted recruitment while applications remain open.
What is the timing of the program?
  • Selected startups will participate in an 8-week immersive program starting in June with a kick off in Seattle, WA.

  • At the end of the program we will host an Innovation Showcase event for mentors, corporate leaders, investors, and the startup community.

  • Applications are open from March 16th to April 13th.

Do applicants have to be from certain geographies or can anyone apply?
  • The Next Stage program will stretch across nine time zones, allowing companies from the Americas and Europe to apply. The virtual nature of our program allows us to expand our geographic reach, while removing relocation requirements for participants.

  • Accepted companies are required to spend two weeks at Amazon's Seattle's headquarters; additional visits to Seattle, WA are optional. Space may be available to startups who choose to work periodically from Seattle.
What kind of funding and support do the startups receive?
  • Each startup receives up to a $150,000 initial investment from Amazon's Alexa Fund in the form of a convertible note. Startups issue preferred warrants valued at $150,000 to Techstars and grant participation rights for future rounds of financing to both Alexa Fund and Techstars.

  • Each startup receives intensive mentorship and access to Techstars' network of corporate partners, mentors, investors and founders.

  • Teams will receive a dedicated resource from Amazon that will offer direct access to business units within the organization.

  • Techstars' Managing Director becomes an extension of your team during the program. The Managing Director helps to create a direct path into the organization, allowing you to execute quickly on your roadmap.
Does Alexa Fund or Techstars automatically get a board seat or role with the startups?
  • No. Alexa Fund becomes a minority shareholder with their $150,000 investment. Techstars does not ask for a board seat.

  • Alexa Fund and Techstars dedicate incredible resources to help startups during and after the program. If startups have a mutual interest in working together further, with either Alexa Fund or Techstars, then an agreement can be made. This is not expected, however.