Evernote Creates Accelerator Program To Host & Mentor Developers

Evernote, the company behind the eponymous suite of notetaking and archiving apps for computers and mobile use, on Tuesday announced the Evernote Accelerator program to help promising winners of its 2013 Evernote Devcup hackathon (which began on March 10 and runs through June 28 with thousands of participants) turn their ideas into actual products.

(See also 2012 Evernote Devcup Finalists.)

The idea, according to Evernote platform advocate Rafe Needleman, who is behind the program, is to invite half a dozen two-to-three person developer teams from all around the world to come to Evernote's Silicon Valley headquarters for a month of intensive development and mentoring - along with team building and technical support. "We want to take these great ideas and help them go from the idea stage to the sustainable business stage," Needleman said.

Honda & DOCOMO Will Sponsor Evernote Accelerator Teams

Honda Silicon Valley Lab and DOCOMO Innovation Ventures will sponsor teams in two of the categories, focused on in-car apps and mobile apps, respectively. While Needleman wouldn't say how much the sponsors are contributed, he said they'll be rewarded with visibility into global entrepreneurship as well as media attention (you're reading this, right?) and the ability to work with developer teams to create cool apps.

Needleman said more sponsors are expected to join the program, but not all the teams will have specific sponsors - some will be chosen and sponsored by Evernote itself.

Not all the Devcup winners will be at the appropriate development stage for the Accelerator, Needleman explained, but Evernote will invite appropriate participants from the pool of winners. "They must win a [Devcup] prize to be invited."

Evernote will fly the teams selected for the Acclerator to the Bay Area, put them up and pay a stipend for incidental expenses. But unlike the accelerator programs and developer funds at many platform companies, it won't be taking an equity position. The Accelerator teams will get workspace at Evernote's HQ, and the ability to work directly with the Evenote developers. After the Accelerator, the company will help the teams connect with Silicon Valley funding sources and development organizations to help support the next stage in their development.

Best Case Scenario: New Evernote Apps

For Evernote, the best-case scenario is to create viable busineses that leverage the Evernote database to make it even more useful. "Evernote has eight apps," Needleman explained, but "there's a million things you can do with Evernote data."

(See also Evernote: A 0-60 MPH Guide.)

The program will run from mid-October to mid-November, 2013. Rules and signup information can be found at dev.evernote.com. Needleman hopes the Accelerator will become an annual event.

(Disclosure: From 1997-1998, I worked for Rafe Needleman at CNET.com.)

Images courtesy of Evernote.