|By Business Wire||
|July 7, 2014 11:00 AM EDT||
Today The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced 11 startup companies that have been selected for a special mentorship and investment program. Kicking off today, Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a fifteen-week immersive program which gives companies access to mentorship from top Disney executives, up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their companies as well as special access to resources from across The Walt Disney Company.
To kick off the program, participating companies will meet with various mentors including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, as well as other entertainment industry leaders, investors, and Techstars’ extensive network of technology mentors. Selected companies will develop mentorship relationships based on expertise, interest and background. Participating 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 in October, where each team will present their company to industry leaders, Disney executives, and the entrepreneurial community.
The selected companies represent a diverse cross-section of technology-driven media and entertainment from many different geographies. The 11 companies selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator program are:
- Buzzstarter - Buzzstarter is the world's first scalable programmatic content marketing platform.
- ChoreMonster - ChoreMonster is a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes.
- Codarica - Codarica serves as children’s first interaction into the world of code with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker.
- Cogo - Cogo provides video monetization solutions for content creators.
- Jogg - 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 - Sphero is the connected play company, which fuses digital and physical play by creating robots that you control with a smart device.
- Sidelines - 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 discussions to publishers based on relevance.
- SnowShoe - SnowShoe makes simple, magical pieces of plastic that interact with touch screens to create the perfect bridge between physical items and digital content.
- Twigtale - Twigtale provides parents with personalized, high-quality, accessible expert advice for every major transition a child undergoes.
- TYFFON - TYFFON is an entertainment app development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads.
- Ubooly - Ubooly is a learning toy that talks and listens to kids. Ubooly can be customized to know your child's name, teach lessons, and much more.
“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 A. Mayer, executive vice president, 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.”
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $45 billion in its Fiscal Year 2013.
Techstars is the #1 startup accelerator and mentorship-driven seed stage investment program in the world. Techstars delivers programs annually in top startup markets all over the world. Additionally, Techstars powers programs in collaboration with some of the best brands in the world. Companies have gone on to average more than $1.6M raised in outside capital after the completion of the program. To date, Techstars has funded more than 350 companies that are collectively valued in the billions of dollars.