Microsoft opens $200K Kinect app contest

Microsoft opens $200K Kinect app contest

By Rob Crossley

November 21st 2011 at 1:48PM

Accelerator Program to bring ten promising projects under the nose of investors

Microsoft is on the hunt for ten new games and applications that make inspired use of the Kinect motion controller, and is offering investment and support to help tempt developers to take part.

Known as the Kinect Accelerator Program, those approved to take part will be given $20,000 in seed investment, as well as an Xbox development kit, office space in Washington, the Windows Kinect SDK and technical training and support.

Developers and entrepreneurs will stay in Washington State for around three months, at the end of which they will pitch their Kinect ideas to entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives.

There are only ten team spaces available, and no idea can be exclusive to Xbox 360 – Microsoft wants to build an ecosystem of successful Kinect apps across a manner of industries, from fitness to retail to computing.

Each of the ten finalists will keep their IP throughout the three-month programme, though the final pitch to investors could theoretically involve ownership discussions. 

Microsoft is partnering with ‘technology incubator’ firm TechStars as part of the initiative. TechStars will support the ten finalist teams with $20,000 in seed funding as well as mentoring and general day-to-day support.

In return, TechStars will take a minority, non-controlling stake of each of the finalists. Microsoft, whose interest is more on promoting Kinect’s potential, takes no equity throughout.

The contest is explained in detail at this FAQ page.

Submissions deadline is January 25th