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Meet the Startups Selected for the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator with American Family Insurance

Posted on: August 13, 2014

By Steven Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Microsoft Developer Experience and Evangelism

At Microsoft, we love working with startups and entrepreneurs that are focusing on solving big problems.

In June, at our first Microsoft Ventures Global Startup Day in San Francisco, we announced a partnership with American Family Insurance to provide a thematic accelerator focused upon home automation. Today, we are happy to share the names of the 10 startups that have been selected for the accelerator and that we will be hosting on our campus this fall.

The Internet of Things, and home automation in particular, is rapidly emerging. With consumer demand growing for solutions that are intuitive, connected and affordable, there are tremendous opportunities for new players in the space. The goal of this Accelerator is simple:  to help a new generation of companies create smarter and safer homes.

Over the past two months, we met with companies across the country and dug through more than 400 applications - all to find the most promising startups, tackling the most challenging problems in home automation. You can find the full list of participants below. It is an amazing and diverse group.

Through Microsoft’s partnership with American Family Insurance, the startups selected for this accelerator will receive the mentorship, tools and connections they need to accelerate business growth. The relationship with American Family Insurance is critical, given their unique understanding of what makes a home safer and how smart technology advancements can proactively protect their policyholders.

We share the belief that over time the home automation trend will fundamentally change how we interact with and manage our homes – making them more efficient, communicative and ultimately safer.

The next few months will bring some exciting developments and we’ll check-in with the startups periodically, as they prepare for our Demo Day in December. In the meantime, I’d like to congratulate and welcome all of the startups to Microsoft’s campus!


Chai Energy delivers real-time energy understanding – from the whole house to individual appliances.
Contact: | @ChaiEnergy |


Heatworks Heatworks is the world's first fully electronic, connected, water heater that conserves water and energy in any application.
Contact: | @HW_MODEL_1 |


Neura creates intuitive and intelligent experiences between users and their connected environments. Devices gain contextual awareness and adaptive learning capabilities required for today’s developing physical internet.
Contact: | @TheNeura |


Novi Security is a portable smart-security system to seamlessly track activities across the home.
Contact: | @NoviSecurity |


Reemo is a wrist-worn, gesture control wearable, interoperable interface for both conventional appliances and more recent connected homes. Point, sync and gesture control.
Contact: | @Playtabase |


Plum is Wi-Fi enabled light-pads, smart plugs and outlets that let the users control lights and electronics from a wall switch or from anywhere in the world using a smart phone.
Contact: | @GetPlum |


Red Balloon Security is ubiquitous host-based defense for embedded devices.
Contact: | @RBSecurity |


Scanalytics is the sensor-based analytics and engagement platform for the physical world.
Contact: | @ScanalyticsInc |


Sentri's HD camera and built-in sensors track the home's vital stats and trends, allowing users to track temperature, humidity, air quality, weather and more.
Contact: | @Sentri4u |


Wallflowr is connected home technology that helps consumers prevent and significantly reduce risks related to accidental fires caused by ranges, stoves and ovens.
Contact: | @gowallflower |

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