Amazon Awards Fellowship to Advance Voice Technology Innovation at Dartmouth

Amazon has awarded an inaugural Alexa Innovation Fellowship to Dartmouth in recognition of the College’s commitment to entrepreneurship and to fuel faculty and student research that incorporates voice technology.

Dartmouth—one of ten schools to receive an inaugural Innovation Fellowship from Amazon—will encourage its campuswide entrepreneurship community to develop innovative products and services that integrate voice technology. As conversational artificial intelligence advances, voice interfaces such as Amazon Alexa are rapidly transforming how humans interact with technology in their everyday lives.

Specifically, Amazon’s Alexa Innovation Fellowship award will support:

  • An Alexa Innovation Fellow at the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth College, who will bring training, programming, and resources to encourage voice technology innovation
  • Dartmouth Applied Leadership and Innovation (DALI) Lab projects that have voice technology integrated into their solutions
  • Pitch competition awards at the Magnuson Center and DALI that incorporate voice technology

In 2013, Dartmouth launched a pilot project to expand the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN) and founded the DEN Innovation Center, which has since incubated more than 100 ventures, awarded more than $400,000 in grants, and funded 30 startup internships. Meanwhile, the DALI Lab has provided more than 200 students with opportunities to put their technology and design skills to use on real-life projects.

Building on these successes, the recently endowed Magnuson Center is establishing a permanent base for aspiring entrepreneurs at the College, reaching out to serve students and faculty from all disciplines who want to create new products or services. The award from Amazon will encourage student and faculty research into the realm of voice technology.

The center’s director, Jamie Coughlin, a veteran entrepreneur who has developed and managed DEN’s programs during the past five years, will be the Alexa Innovation Fellow for 2018–19.

“It’s an incredible honor to be awarded this inaugural Alexa Innovation Fellowship,” says Coughlin. “The opportunity to explore and collaborate with the team at Amazon and its Alexa voice technology, throughout our entrepreneurial community at Dartmouth, is very exciting. I look forward to the promising creations that will be developed by our students and faculty through this experience.”

Dartmouth has a rich history of highly networked, co-curricular entrepreneurship activities. Supporting students and faculty who want to explore and launch entrepreneurial ventures is a top institutional priority for the College and features prominently in Dartmouth’s comprehensive campaign, The Call to Lead, publicly launched this past April.

Apply for our Amazon Alexa Innovation Grant

The Magnuson Center Amazon Alexa Innovation Award supports innovative initiatives that advance voice technology and conversational artificial intelligence. The goal of this fund is to educate students about voice technology and empower them to be entrepreneurs in the voice technology space.   
Rules & Eligibility 
1. The Amazon Alexa Innovation Award grants up to $2,500 to an individual or a team. Grants may be used to supplement other funding for a larger scale project. 
2. Grants are awarded to current Dartmouth students at the undergraduate, graduate and professional schools.
3. The grant can be used towards all initiatives (educational, technical, etc.) that relate to the advancement of voice technology and conversational artificial intelligence. Examples can be: enhancing exiting technologies with voice integrations, using voice technology to assist in rehabilitation, etc.
Your application will be evaluated based on the following
1. Credibility of the initiative 
2. Clear definition of an action plan for use of the funds (objectives vs. timeline)
3. Individual/Team commitment to learn and execute
Required items to apply:
1. Online application
2. 1 page summary of the project and use of funds (including budget breakdown)
4. Pitch Deck (3 Slides) - Focused on your business model & strategy 
5. Company logo (can be a mock-up)
6. Founder(s) head shots
7. Possible 15 minute interview. 
Grant Dates and Deadlines
NOW OPEN: Application Opens 
April 22: Applications Close at NOON 
Grant recipients are required to attend 1x office hours 
- All recipients must provide any necessary information or documentation within one month of award notification or any and all monies awarded will be forfeited. 
- If receiving an award, checks must be deposited within 90 days to avoid loss of funds. Checks will not be reissued.
- International students should check with OVIS regarding any possible conflicts pertaining to working or operating a business. 

Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Annie Ren at