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The Kinect Accelerator contest gives 10 startups a great start


Microsoft and TechStars, a company that provides mentors and funding to potential startups, will support 10 entrepreneurs in their Kinect-based ventures with a three-month innovation incubation contest dubbed The Kinect Accelerator.

The program is for commercial applications of Kinect technology, and after a "competitive screening process," each of the 10 startups will receive $20,000, office space, an Xbox dev kit, the Windows Kinect SDK and all the resources of Microsoft BizSpark. After three months, each team will present at an Investor Demo Day to potentially garner more funding and media attention. You can apply for The Kinect Accelerator right here through Jan. 25.

TechStars is helping Microsoft with the Accelerator and will get a 6 percent stake in the startups. Microsoft has really run with this Kinect-hacking boom, which is good; perhaps it realized that Kinect is truly a sweeping media application that can also do gaming, as opposed to a gaming system that also supports other media. As much fun as we have with Dance Central 2, the idea of yelling at our entertainment systems to play music, watch TV and surf the net is still much more appealing than any fly-step-out combos.

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