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Even $55 billion entertainment giants like to work with startups. The Walt Disney Company is announcing a bunch of new startups that will present at its fifth annual Demo Day for Disney Accelerator startups on October 10.
For this year’s event, the Disney Accelerator will feature talks from each company about its visions for the future it is building, along with a TED fireside chat.
The Demo Day concludes this year’s Disney Accelerator program, which connects companies from around the world with the “creativity, imagination and expertise” of Disney and provides them with unique access to Disney’s leadership team, mentorship, and support.
“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of working with leading entrepreneurs from around the world and exploring collaborations with the potential to change the landscape of media and entertainment,” said Michael Abrams, senior vice president of innovation at Disney, in a statement. “Our portfolio of Disney Accelerator companies has collaborated with our businesses to drive innovation, developing cutting-edge technology and creating incredible new products. We look forward to continuing to multiply those efforts industry-wide for years to come.”
The Disney Accelerator 2018 speakers include:
- Ethan Agarwal, founder and CEO of Aaptiv. The provider of premium digital wellness content has a community of over 200,000 members who take more than 30,000 of Aaptiv’s innovative audio guided classes each day.
- Pravin Prakash, cofounding student and chief marketing officer, Byju’s. India’s largest edtech company wants to reinvent how students learn through its learning app with personalized video.
- Ben Keighran, founder and CEO of Caffeine. The social broadcasting platform serves live gaming, entertainment, and creative arts.
- Joanna McFarland, cofounder and CEO, HopSkipDrive. The startup provides tech-enabled ride services for kids.
- Anjney Midha, cofounder and CEO of Ubiquity6. The massively multiplayer augmented reality platform focuses on bringing people together in physical spaces.
- Jessica Matthews, cofounder and CEO, Uncharted Power. The renewable power company specializes in harnessing the energy from motion to create entire ecosystems of power for communities.
- Noah Horton, founder and CEO, Unsupervised. Unsupervised has built AI based on unsupervised learning that helps teams find actionable insights in data without requiring human guidance or supervision.
- TED fireside chat with Fadi Chehadé, a partner at Abry Partners. He serves on the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution advisory board and is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Chehadé is a serial entrepreneur, having built and sold three Internet content delivery companies including the AI company Vocado, recently acquired by Oracle. He is the former CEO of ICANN and former general manager of IBM Global Technology Services in the Middle East and Africa.
Over the past five years, numerous Disney Accelerator companies have collaborated with various divisions of the company. They include:
- LittleBits released the Droid Inventor Kit last year, which was the #1 tech toy on Amazon during the holiday season and the Toy Association’s 2018 Creative Toy of the Year. This summer, LittleBits launched the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, which lets kids create and customize high-tech hero gear and a unique Super Hero identity using LittleBits electronic blocks and the LittleBits app. The kit was included on Amazon’s 2018 “Top 100 Toys” List in 2018.
- StatMuse developed AI-powered voice apps with NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL sports stats, schedules, and scores featuring the voices of ESPN SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt and star athletes on all major AI assistant/smart speaker platforms.
- The VOID and ILMxLAB, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, created Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire: a location-based hyper-reality experience that has been launched in multiple global locations, including Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. The VOID and ILMxLAB recently announced new multisensory, fully immersive experiences featuring “Ralph Breaks VR” coming this fall and an adventure from Marvel Studios coming in 2019.
The Disney Accelerator Demo Day will be livestreamed worldwide on ABCNews.com and ABC News mobile and OTT apps for Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV on October 10 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.
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