With the mission of improving equity in venture capital funding and providing support for compelling and representative Alexa applications, Amazon Alexa Fund, Alexa Startups, and BLAVITY are excited to announce the Black Founders Build with Alexa Program. This four-month, remote program seeks 10 Black-founded startups located in North America that are driving innovation in voice, artificial intelligence, and ambient computing. The selected startups will have an opportunity to receive a $100,000 investment from the Alexa Fund and individualized technology support from the Alexa Startups team.
The goal of Black Founders Build with Alexa is to combat the lack of inclusiveness and underrepresentation of entrepreneurs of color in the tech industry. According to the Alexa Startups team, this initiative will lead to more diverse perspectives, bigger thinking, and ultimately better products and services for Alexa customers. Interested in applying? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Black Founders Build With Alexa?
Black Founders Build with Alexa is a remote program for a cohort of up to 10 Black-founded startups. The startups must demonstrate readiness and the ability to deliver novel Alexa integration within the program duration. Startups selected for the program will receive 4-12 months of Alexa Startups Business Development and Solution Architect support, depending on the Alexa integration type.
What Are the Benefits of the Program?
Every startup participating in the Black Founders Build with Alexa program will have an opportunity to receive a $100,000 investment from the Alexa Fund to fuel company growth and facilitate Alexa integration development. Additionally, each participating startup will receive the opportunity to build long-term Amazon relationships and develop connections for potential future fundraising opportunities. Founders will also receive invitations to speak at events, participate in panel discussions and demo showcases.
How Do I Apply?
You can submit your two-step application form HERE. With your application, include a brief proposal of the Alexa skill or Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration that you would like to work on or develop. If you’re selected to the next round, you’ll be invited to an interview with the Alexa Startups Business Development and Solution Architect teams.
The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM PT on April 24, 2022.
Make sure you follow Alexa Developers to stay up to date on upcoming diversity, equity and inclusion-focused programs.
What is the Amazon Alexa Fund?
The Alexa Fund is Amazon’s venture capital fund investing in artificial intelligence, frontier tech, voice, digital health, sustainability, and new media. Since 2015, the Alexa Fund has invested in 100+ early- and growth-stage companies globally across consumer and enterprise.