The Walt Disney Company has announced the 11 startups selected for its four-year-old Disney Accelerator program, which provides mentorship, office space, and funding for emerging companies in the entertainment and technology spaces.
Among the companies selected are: immersive sound startup Ambidio; esports team owner Axiomatic; women’s digital publisher Brit + Co; video game developer Epic Games; local news discovery platform Hoodline; Kahoot!, a game-based learning program; film, TV, and theater collaboration tool ProductionPro; ecommerce mobile messaging platform ReplyYes; TV data company Samba TV; indoor delivery robot maker Savioke; and The Void, which immerses consumers in virtual entertainment experiences.
“The Disney Accelerator has provided The Walt Disney Company incredible opportunities to connect with and be inspired by many talented entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Disney’s SVP of innovation, Michael Abrams, in a statement. “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.”
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IP developed by participating companies remains self-owned, though Disney has gone on to collaborate with several program graduates in years past.
Past participants include, for instance: connected toy-maker Sphero, which created the best-selling BB-8 toy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; movie ticketing app Atom Tickets, which partnered with Disney to vend tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; and Imperson, which developed AI-powered chatbots for Walt Disney World’s Pandora — The World Of Avatar attraction.