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The Disney Accelerator program is returning with a new class of startups that the entertainment company will mentor over the next several months.
Among the 11 startups participating in DA’s fourth class are online publisher Brit + Co, gaming company Epic Games and data firm Samba TV.
“The Disney Accelerator has provided the Walt Disney Co. incredible opportunities to connect with and be inspired by many talented entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Michael Abrams, senior vp innovation at Disney. “This year, more than ever, we are working with companies with the potential to help define the future of media and entertainment together with Disney.”
Company-backed accelerators became en vogue several years ago after similar programs in Silicon Valley helped support Airbnb, Dropbox, TaskRabbit and successful companies in their early years. Disney began offering its three-month accelerator in 2014 with a class that included marketing startup Naritiv and app developer Tyffon. Most companies that graduate from the accelerator land deal with Disney. Early participant Sphero teamed with Disney to release a BB-8 toy and continues to develop new robotics using Disney IP, for example.
Participating in the Disney Accelerator gives startups access to the Disney leadership team, in addition to mentorship and support. The program culminates in a demo day, in which executives from each company pitch to investors.
Here are the 11 companies that make up the class for the 2017 accelerator:
Ambidio: An innovative sound company that creates a continuous sound field with a sense of depth and dimension through any device with stereo speakers, bringing an immersive sound experience to everyone.
AXiomatic: A broad-based e-sports company built by leading sports team owners with ownership interests in e-sports teams and e-sports content distribution. The company has a majority stake in Team Liquid, a top e-sports team in the U.S. and Europe with 60 pro players, coaches and analysts competing in nine games as well as a minority stake in Super League Gaming.
Brit + Co: A digital media company that inspires, educates and entertains real women with a creative spirit. Through inspirational content, online classes and products, Brit + Co enables its audience of over 125 million to use creativity to shape their best lives.
Epic Games: Creators of Unreal Engine technology, which is used by millions of developers to ship visually stunning, high-quality games and experiences across PC, console, mobile, VR and AR platforms. Developers also choose Epic’s Unreal Engine for cinematic production, visualization, design and simulation. Epic is known for creating the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games, as well as newer titles such as Fortnite, Paragon and Robo Recall.
Hoodline: A local news and content discovery platform that uses machine learning to distribute geotagged and relevant content from hundreds of media partners into websites or mobile apps. Hoodline also analyzes data sets to unlock insights for businesses and media companies.
Kahoot!: A game-based learning platform with more than 50 million monthly active users in 180 countries. Kahoot! makes it easy to create, discover, play and share fun learning games in any language, on any device, for all ages.
ProductionPro: A tool for storytellers and creators focused on improving creative collaboration in film, TV and theater production. ProductionPro pulls scripts, research, designs and continuity together to empower creative decision-making.
ReplyYes: A frictionless e-commerce over mobile messaging experience: customers simply reply “YES” to buy the product and have it delivered.
Samba TV: A data and analytics company providing essential television insights by leveraging a source of real-time, opt-in viewership data across broadcast, cable TV, OTT, and digital media. Through software integrations with smart TV manufacturers, Samba recognizes content and associated viewership patterns making TV audiences more addressable and measurable while helping marketers activate cross-screen campaigns and maximize their impact.
Savioke: A robotics company that develops and deploys autonomous indoor delivery robots that work alongside people in busy environments such as hotels, logistics facilities and high-rise apartment buildings. The company’s flagship product, Relay, is an autonomous delivery robot that is already installed in dozens of hotels worldwide.
The Void: A location-based entertainment company that fully immerses guests in virtual experiences with friends and family, engaging all of their senses. The Void combines interactive sets, virtual reality, real-time effects and state-of-the-art technology to bring guests into its experience.
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