Oracle Launches Startup Cloud Accelerator Program in Austin

Oracle Austin campus, courtesy photo.

Watch out Austin there’s a new accelerator in town.

Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., on Tuesday, announced it’s launching a residential Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program in Austin.

The Austin program is Oracle’s first residential accelerator program in North America. Oracle has eight other global locations in Bangalore, Bristol, Mumbai, Delhi, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Tel Aviv.

“Austin has a vibrant startup ecosystem and a history as a hotbed for cloud companies,” Reggie Bradford, Oracle’s senior vice president, Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator, said, via email, in response to a series of questions. “It is also surrounded by great universities, which often produce entrepreneurs, engineers and tomorrow’s startup leaders. Oracle is also expanding in Austin more broadly – from our new campus to rapid hiring – and we are working to create a flywheel effect, making it a great place for our first U.S. residential accelerator.”

Oracle just finished building a massive campus in Austin. The current phase includes a 560,000-square-foot building, as well as a parking garage, on 40 acres on the Lady Bird Lake waterfront, according to Oracle. On-campus amenities include fitness facilities, a full-service café, food truck court, expansive business training and conference center, game rooms, terraces and outdoor collaboration areas, as well as the adjacent 295-unit Azul apartment complex, which serves as a housing option for Oracle employees.

“In 2017, we launched eight residential programs ahead of schedule and attracted almost 4,000 global startups for only 40 program slots—a clear indication of the tremendous demand,” Bradford said in a news release.

Oracle will announce details including location and timing for the call for applications in the coming months, Bradford said. It plans to select five to six startups per cohort, with two programs a year that last six months each. The selected startups will receive technical support, mentoring by Oracle and industry experts, Oracle Cloud credits, co-working space, and access to Oracle’s customers, investors, partners and others. Any startup that has been in business at least six months can apply, according to Oracle. Interested startups can signup now here.

“Our current programs have ended with a pitch day, and we plan to continue this tradition in our new Austin location,” Bradford said. “Our pitch days are not “traditional” as we try to provide as much value and exposure for our startups, so often we will incorporate our pitch days at big events. For example, we recently did this for our Tel Aviv and Sao Paulo startups at Oracle CloudWorld in NYC – giving them additional exposure and engagement with our global customers, partners and product teams.”

Oracle does not take an equity stake in the companies in its accelerator, Bradford said. Oracle also works to connect the startups to customers, partners and sources of funding, helping them through their next phase of growth, Bradford said.

“Our new Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program collaborates with PE and VC firms and will target high-growth entities across EMEA, JAPAC, and the Americas, as well as a select number of investment groups and strategic partners, Bradford said.

In addition to the Austin accelerator, Oracle also announced its first, virtual-style, non-residential global program: Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem.

Oracle’s new programs are focused on cloud-based technology. A key advantage is the participants get to partner with Oracle and its customers and partners.

The virtual program is aimed at startups and venture capital and private equity portfolio companies, according to Oracle. It offers help in product development, sales, marketing, migration assistance, cloud credits and discounts and access to Oracle’s customer and product ecosystems.

Jason Williams, industry veteran and Amazon Web Services alum, will lead the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program. Applications for Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem are accepted on a rolling basis here.

Oracle’s cloud-based accelerator is not the first in Central Texas. San Antonio launched the first Techstars Cloud program in 2012. It graduated four classes of startups before shutting down in 2016.

In addition to the new Oracle accelerator, Austin has several existing technology accelerators that include cloud-based companies. Austin’s accelerators include Techstars Austin, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator, Tarmac Texas, MassChallenge Texas and SputnikATX. And then there are specialized accelerators like DivInc, which emphasizes diversity and inclusion, SKU, consumer products goods and the International Accelerator.

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