Disney’s startup accelerator
Mom:”Honey, what do you wanna be when you grow up?” Mom thinkin’: don’t shoot for the stars, baby.
Kid:”I wanna…I wanna…I wanna be Walt Disney.”
Mom is all blank face.
We’ve all had our fairy-tale type of dreams when we were young and we’ve all heard of Disney during our childhood. Its stories, moving pictures, dolls, theme parks and musicals, defined our universe, shaped our minds and molded our imagination. Every girl fell in love at least once, I should know, with one of the princesses’ refinement and class, either Ariel, Cinderella, Snow-White, all pretty ladies. For me, it was the graceful Belle.
As we grow up, we tend to view Disney as distant from our every day hustle and bustle, going to work, shopping, taking care of our families, and we leave this fairy-tale sort of dreams to our children. We seem to think this is what Disney is all about: cartoons, dolls, music. And we say: let children play with their toys.
But the people from Disney will tell you: “Walt Disney had a dream, and the entrepreneurial will to make that dream come true. Combining creativity and innovation, he built a company that is forever inventing new ways to tell stories.”
Now, their story involves us adults. I present to you the startup accelerator of your fairy-tale childhood dreams: Disney Accelerator.
Now you can be Walt Disney, or a part of the Disney team, by making your startup be a part of the Disney startup accelerator.
The program has already started as the schedule announced before-hand: on February 12th applications opened, on April 16th closed, while on the 30th of June it actually began and the demo day will be in October the 14th, in Burbank, Calif., where each team will present their company to Disney execs, industry leaders and the entrepreneurial community. Can’t wait!
While you can’t be a fairy-tale startup founder now, we should take a look at this accelerator and at the startups selected, so as to have a trick or two up our sleeves for the next selections.
In his post Calling all dreamers: Disney is launching a startup accelerator program, Geoff Weiss showed how Disney was trying to keep the legacy of its founder by making dreams come true.
The incubator and investment program is designed to provide entrepreneurs access to top executives and resources, and give the Mouse House access to up-and-coming talent. The program lasts for 15 weeks and is produced in association with the accelerator Techstarts. Some of the top executives from Disney, including chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger are meeting with the companies selected 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.
What’s more, participating companies meet with various executives from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, along with tech mentors in Techstars’ network.
The Disney Accelerator companies meet with mentors regularly and work together to build and expand business plans, product launches, marketing campaigns and formulate long-term strategies.
So, let’s see the 11 companies selected to participate in the Disney Accelerator program:
- Buzzstarter. It’s a programmatic content-marketing platform
- ChoreMonster. It’s a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes
- Codarica. It provides a kid-focused introduction to the world of computer programming with help from funny characters
- Cogo. It offers video monetization solutions for content creators
- Jogg. It lets users gather, edit and share video and other content from their devices
- Sphero. It develops a “connected play” system that lets users create robots controlled with a smart device
- Sidelines. It sources high-quality online discussions from a team of 400-plus experts, and distributes these discussions to publishers based on relevance
- SnowShoe. It 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. It provides parents with personalized expert advice for major childhood transitions
- TYFFON. It is an entertainment app-development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads
- Ubooly. It is a learning toy that talks and listens to kids that can be customized to know a child’s name, teach lessons and more.
This being said, get down to business and prepare for being part of a fairy-tale startup accelerator. Do you think you have what it takes to be a founder of dreams?
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