Qualcomm and Techstars Establish Accelerator for Robotics Startups

As the global market tops out for advanced smartphone processors, radios, and other wireless chips, Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM is staking a claim in robotics.

Under a partnership with Boulder, CO-based Techstars announced today, the wireless technology giant plans to host a four-month robotics accelerator for 10 startups at its San Diego headquarters next year. The new Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is intended to accelerate the development of next-generation robots and intelligent machines.

Qualcomm says it has committed over $1 million in aggregate funding to startups admitted to the program. A Qualcomm spokesman says the company has not yet named a managing director for the accelerator, which will be run with assistance and insights from Techstars.

Asked if Qualcomm technology will be used as a criterion for admitting companies to the accelerator, the spokesman responds in an e-mail: “The program is open to anyone and everyone in the robotics space regardless of the technology they use. The only criteria [are] that the companies have great teams with strong, thoughtful ideas, and the ability to execute. They also need to be focused on building the next generation of robotics and smart machines.”

Along with Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator, Techstars has emerged as one of the nation’s most successful programs for mentoring and investing in seed-stage tech startups. The accelerator was founded in 2006 by software entrepreneur David Cohen, who remains Techstars CEO, and Brad Feld, who is a managing director of the Boulder-based venture firm Foundry Group.

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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