Microsoft has launched its latest start-up accelerator, which will focus on home automation.
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.
Microsoft has been conducting its own research in the home-automation space, with projects like a partnership with Insteon, which is developing home-automation applications for Windows Phone and Windows 8.. Last year, Microsoft , whose technology the Redmondians are thought to be integrating with Xbox. More recently, it announced
Microsoft also has been puttingt, of which home-automation is a key piece. The .
Microsoft formed its consolidated start-up outreach arm,, in 2013. The company already launched ventures accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.