July 11, 2014
Disney has named the first 11 startups to participate in its 15-week Accelerator program. The diverse first class of tech-driven media and entertainment startups will be mentored by top Disney execs and receive up to $120,000 in seed funding. Mentors will include leaders from ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering. The companies will be advised how to best develop effective business plans, product launches and marketing campaigns.
“With Disney Accelerator we are now bringing the creativity and imagination of Disney to early stage startups in a way we have never done before,” said Kevin Mayer, EVP corporate strategy and business development, The Walt Disney Company. “We are thrilled by the response we’ve received and the high caliber of applicants to the program, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with this excellent group of creative entrepreneurs and really making a difference with these startup companies.”
According to the press release, the following is a snapshot of the startups:
- Buzzstarter: The world’s first scalable programmatic content marketing platform.
- ChoreMonster: A Web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes.
- Codarica: Children’s first interaction into the world of code with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker.
- Cogo: Video monetization solutions for content creators.
- Jogg: Simplifies the act of acquiring video from anyone. Users can gather, edit and share much more than just video from their own device.
- Sphero: The connected play company, which fuses digital and physical play by creating robots that you control with a smart device.
- Sidelines: Fixes the problem of substandard online discussions and comments by sourcing smart, high-quality discussions from its curated team of over 400 experts and distributing these conversations to publishers based on relevance.
- SnowShoe: Makes simple, magical pieces of plastic that interact with touch screens to create the perfect bridge between physical items and digital content.
- Twigtale: Provides parents with personalized, high-quality, accessible expert advice for every major transition a child undergoes.
- Tyffon: An entertainment app development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads.
- Ubooly: A learning toy that talks and listens to kids. Ubooly can be customized to know your child’s name, teach lessons, and much more.
“Startup accelerators have become popular within the entertainment industry over the last year,” explains The Hollywood Reporter. “United Talent Agency partnered with the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to start the Viterbi Startup Garage accelerator… Warner Bros., meanwhile, launched Media Camp LA in 2013 based on a San Francisco program that Turner had started the previous year.”