Has Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensing device for the Xbox 360 and PC caught your eye? Has that glimmer been diffused by a lack of funding, preventing your inner developer from creating something innovative and fun? You're in luck, as Microsoft is now accepting applications for its Kinect Accelerator (opens in new tab) program that offers a $20,000 investment and other perks.
"If you are a developer or existing team/startup focused on building a business that takes advantage of the Kinect and Natural User Interface technologies, then the Kinect Accelerator is where you need to be," the company reports. "Through this program, Microsoft is supporting entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators like you to bring to life a wide range of business ideas that leverage the limitless possibilities Kinect enables."
Microsoft isn’t just letting anyone off the street sign up and claim their $20K prize. Following a competitive screening process, Microsoft will choose ten finalists. The "incubation" program itself will only last three months, running from March to May 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Finalists will receive the $20K investment, an Xbox SDK, a PC SDK, office space, all the resources of BizSpark, and technical training and support.
Microsoft also said that finalists will receive mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives intensely focused on making their business a success. "At the end of the program, each company will have an opportunity to present at an Investor Demo Day to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives, media and industry influentials," the company said.
So what qualifies for the Kinect Accelerator program? Microsoft provides a list right here (opens in new tab), but applicants aren't expected to have prior experience in developing for Kinect. "The business concept does need to leverage Kinect capabilities as part of the final offering," Microsoft said. "Your team must also be willing to develop the technical skills required to bring your solution to a functioning prototype."
To apply for Microsoft's Kinect Accelerator program, head here (opens in new tab).