In partnership with American Family Insurance, one of the biggest mutual property/casualty insurance companies, Microsoft is looking to invest in start-ups in the home-automation market. This newest accelerator, the formation of which Microsoft announced on June 17, will be based on the Redmond, Wash., Microsoft campus.
American Family Insurance will provide participants with "a wealth of homeowner knowledge that would be impossible for young companies to gain access to on their own," according to Microsoft's press release. American Family also will be offering startups participating in the accelerator a minimum optional $25,000 equity investment in each startup accepted into the program. The home-automation accelerator will be operational from September to December 2014.