Disney has announced 11 technology and media startups that will participate in the Disney Accelerator incubator and investment program, designed to provide entrepreneurs access to top execs and resources — and give the Mouse House access to up-and-coming talent.
During the 15-week program, produced in association with startup accelerator Techstars, top Disney execs including Disney chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger will meet with the companies to provide feedback and guidance. In addition, Disney will provide up to $120,000 in investment capital to the startups as well as access to additional resources.
To kick off the program, participating companies will meet with various execs from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, along with tech mentors in Techstars’ network.
The 11 companies selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator program are:
- Buzzstarter: billed as the world’s first scalable, programmatic content-marketing platform
- ChoreMonster: web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes
- Codarica: provides a kid-focused introduction to world of computer programming with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker
- Cogo: provides video monetization solutions for content creators
- Jogg: lets users gather, edit and share video and other content from their devices
- Sphero: develops a “connected play” system that lets users create robots controlled with a smart device
- Sidelines: sources high-quality online discussions from a team of 400-plus experts, and distributes these discussions to publishers based on relevance
- SnowShoe: created an interactive-play system with “magical” pieces of plastic that interact with touchscreens to create a bridge between physical items and digital content
- Twigtale: provides parents with personalized expert advice for major childhood transitions
- 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 that can be customized to know a child’s name, teach lessons and more.
The Disney Accelerator companies will meet with mentors regularly and work together to build and expand business plans, product launches, marketing campaigns and formulate long-term strategies. The program culminates with a Demo Day on Oct. 14 in Burbank, Calif., where each team will present their company to Disney execs, industry leaders and the entrepreneurial community.
“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,” Kevin Mayer, Disney’s EVP of corporate strategy and business development, said in a statement. “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.”
The program is similar to Turner Broadcasting System’s Media Camp accelerator and investment program, which it conducts in partnership with Warner Bros.