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Fireworks go off around Cinderella's castle during the grand opening ceremony for Walt Disney World's new Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in this December 6, 2012 file photo. (SCOTT AUDETTE/REUTERS)
Fireworks go off around Cinderella's castle during the grand opening ceremony for Walt Disney World's new Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida in this December 6, 2012 file photo. (SCOTT AUDETTE/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

Disney selects 11 startups to join new accelerator program Add to ...

The Walt Disney Company announced the 11 startups that will participate in its new 15-week accelerator program.

Based in the greater Los Angeles area, Disney Accelerator – powered by TechStars – gives early stage companies exclusive access to top-level execs, $20,000 in funding upon acceptance (and access to an additional $100,000 convertible debt note) and exclusive access to resources across the company. Conversely, the program gives Disney access to up-and-coming talent.

“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 of business development at The Walt Disney Company.

Participants in the program will meet with mentors regularly and work together to build and expand business plans, product launches, marketing campaigns and formulate long-term strategies. Like most accelerator programs, it culminates with an investor demo day, where each team will pitch their company to industry leaders, investors and the entrepreneurial community. The program is similar to Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp, a three-month academy for media startups that offers mentoring, introductions to key executives, and some cash in exchange for a small investment stake.

The 11 startups, listed below, represent a cross-section of tech-driven media and entertainment:

  1. Buzzstarter – Buzzstarter is the world’s first scalable programmatic content marketing platform.
  2. ChoreMonster – ChoreMonster is a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes.
  3. Codarica – Codarica serves as children’s first interaction into the world of code with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker.
  4. Cogo – Cogo provides video monetization solutions for content creators.
  5. 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.
  6. Sphero – Sphero is the connected play company, which fuses digital and physical play by creating robots that you control with a smart device.
  7. 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.
  8. SnowShoe – SnowShoe makes simple, magical pieces of plastic that interact with touch screens to create the perfect bridge between physical items and digital content.
  9. Twigtale – Twigtale provides parents with personalized, high-quality, accessible expert advice for every major transition a child undergoes.
  10. TYFFON – TYFFON is an entertainment app development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads.
  11. 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.

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