From Discovery to Selection: Announcing the Seattle Accelerator’s Third Batch

Microsoft’s Seattle Accelerator celebrated its first anniversary last August. The program’s inaugural cohort focused on IoT/Home Automation, and the second on Productivity. With Machine Learning and Data Science being a major industry trend—and with Microsoft’s top Azure ML offering—we decided to focus on this area for our upcoming batch of startups.

From Discovery to Selection: Announcing the Seattle Accelerator’s Third Batch

Over the past couple of years, $1B of venture capital has been poured into cognitive technologies, according to Deloitte, and there’s no doubt machine learning will be used to reinvent, digitalize, or eliminate business processes and products in the near future.

“Big data and advanced analytics techniques are touching more and more lives every day. We are on the cusp of doing remarkable things such as predicting disease outbreaks, drastically reducing wait times in emergency rooms, and even predicting and preventing crime. Nevertheless, we have barely scratched the surface in terms of the potential of these technologies to change the world. Microsoft’s goal is to make data science and machine learning broadly accessible – to every enterprise, every startup, and, over time, to everybody,” says Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of the Data Group at Microsoft. “The Cortana Analytics Suite empowers startups through our state-of-the-art platform and tools, and the startups that are part of the Seattle accelerator program are helping us get ever closer to that goal.”

Big data and advanced analytics techniques are touching more and more lives every day.

Over the past few months, we’ve been on the hunt for the most dynamic entrepreneurs with the biggest visions and most disruptive, innovative ideas. We traveled to 12 cities in the U.S. and Canada, spoke with countless founders, and reviewed hundreds of business applications. Companies from more than 50 countries around the world applied to our Seattle-based program. The variety was impressive.

After a long review process, we narrowed the list of applicants to 26 startups who came to Seattle for the last step in the selection process: “Jury Day.” We had over 50 jury members participate with 70% coming from outside of Microsoft, including investors, partners, customers, entrepreneurs, data scientists and psychologists. The startups pitching at Jury Day received very positive feedback all around, which made making our final decisions very difficult. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we selected 10 startups to kick off our third batch.

You’ll get a chance to meet these startups in person at our Demo Day in June, but until then, you can learn more about them below. Join me in congratulating and welcoming Seattle’s third accelerator class!

Affinio provides actionable audience insights that let brands and agencies understand social silent majority. Contact: | @Affinio
Agolo builds proprietary summarization technology for analysts that improve accuracy of reporting by 4x. Contact: | @agolo
Clarify allows developers to search and understand audio and video using a simple API. Contact: | @clarifyio
DefinedCrowd is a platform that provides big data for Speech and NLP Technology by combining crowd sourcing and machine learning. Contact: | @DefinedCrowd
Knomos is a knowledge network leveraging data visualization for legal research, education, and user collaboration. Contact: | @theknomos
MedWhat is an artificial intelligence doctor that answers medical questions, has personalized medical conversations with the user about their daily health & wellness, provides medical reminders and follows up using the user’s health record and medical sensor data. Contact: | @medwhatyou
OneBridge Solutions provides enterprise, mission-critical cloud apps for pipeline companies using MS Azure, Big Data and Machine learning. Contact: | @OneBridgeSln
Percolata optimizes retail labor through sensors and mobile and web applications. Contact: | @percolata_com
Plexuss is radically changing the way universities find and recruit students. Contact: | @plexussupdates
simMachines provides metric and non-metric nearest neighbor classifiers, recommendations, clustering and search with a new family of dense distance functions (cloud-based SaaS). Contact: | @simmachines

For more information on timelines, mentors and more, visit the Microsoft Seattle Accelerator page. And follow us on Twitter @MSAccel to keep up to date with our startups, news, and program announcements!