Software giant Oracle has chosen Austin for its first U.S. startup accelerator program.
The Startup Cloud Accelerator announced today follows the recent completion of Oracle’s 560,000-square-foot campus southeast of downtown Austin.
Oracle, the second-largest software company in the world, will pick five to six startups focused on cloud technology to take part in the six month program, which it will run twice a year.
“Austin has a fast-growing startup ecosystem, a diversity of companies and access to capital,” said Reggie Bradford, Oracle senior vice president, Startup Ecosystem and Accelerator. “The university system and access there is tremendous. That’s why we’re investing heavily in the region, both through acquisitions, product development and building out the Austin campus.”
Oracle expanded the Startup Cloud Accelerator last year and has currently runs eight programs in locations including Bristol, England; Bangalore, India; Paris; Sao Paulo; Singapore and Tel Aviv.
The goal behind the accelerator is to fuel cloud-enabled innovation around Oracle products worldwide.
“Given Austin’s deep technical expertise, its legacy in software development and what’s gone on there with cloud computing, that’s a very good reason we were drawn to the region,” Bradford said.
More than 4,000 startups applied for 40 program slots last year, he said. Companies can be based anywhere to apply, but must move to the accelerator location to participate.
Oracle looks for startups that are addressing large markets and have a well-defined product and customer traction. The startup must have a founding team that has been together for at least six months.
Selected companies will receive hands-on technical and business mentoring by Oracle and industry experts, as well as a dedicated co-working space and access to Oracle’s global network of startups, customers, investors and partners. Oracle does not take equity in participating companies.
At the end of the six months, startups will pitch their companies to an audience including potential partners and investors.
The cloud accelerator program is the latest investment in Austin by Oracle. The company recently opened its sleek, five-story building on prime waterfront property southeast of downtown at South Lakeshore Boulevard and Lady Bird Lane.
Oracle said it has not decided whether the cloud accelerator will be located on the campus or off site.
The campus will initially house 3,000 tech workers, many of them recent college graduates, which the company is targeting as it shifts its focus to the cloud and builds hubs for those sales groups.
Officials say the new campus was designed with millennials in mind. It will include outdoor terraces, a fitness center, “huddle rooms” and a tech bar to give employees the ability to get computers and devices fixed quickly.
An one-site cafeteria, complete with video games and television screens will serve an array of freshly prepared cuisine, including local fare such as barbecue, along with healthy snacks.
Along with its original land purchase, Oracle bought a new apartment complex, called Azul, just steps from the new campus as a housing option for employees.
The apartment acquisition marked the first time Oracle bought an apartment building near an Oracle campus.
Oracle executives have said the company is expected to begin a second phase of expansion, which could add another 2,000 workers. It has not provided details on the plan.
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