Disney to Start Own Startup Incubator, With Help from Techstars

681047-786x305The Walt Disney Company is getting into the startup incubator/accelerator business with its launch of its new program Disney Accelerator. The media giant is looking for ten “early-stage companies with innovative consumer media and entertainment product ideas.” Those companies will receive $120,000 each as well as mentorship from various tech and entertainment companies, amongst them the many companies under the Disney umbrella, including ESPN, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Walt Disney Imagineering, not to mention Disney CEO Bob Iger. In return for their financial commitment, Disney and Techstars will receive a total of 6% equity of each company (3% each).

The company describes the program as “powered by Techstars.” Others who have partnered with Techstars for developing their own startup incubators include Barclays, Microsoft, and Sprint. The team dynamic works in such a way so that Disney provides the mentorship and financial and networking resources, while Techstars brings its technology and startup accelerator experience, creating somewhat of a powerhouse incubator specializing in media and content distribution technology. This will be a joint partnership in that it will be equal investment from both Techstars and from Disney. Techstars will additionally appoint someone to help run the day-to-day operations full-time under the supervision of Michael Abrams, Disney’s senior vice-president of innovation.

Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development, says the Disney Accelerator “offers a unique collaboration between some of the best creative minds in the entertainment industry and the modern-day visionaries who are starting 20130213-Warner-Bros-and-_headerbusinesses on the strength of exciting new ideas.”

Mayer says he expects to receive quite a few applications from companies involved in either ad tech, application ideas and technology, like HTML5, mobile, new business models, or even monetization techniques. Participants will be selected based on the concept and whether the idea matches up with something Disney can readily identify with.

Disney will kick off the accelerator program at the end of June in Los Angeles. However, it’s not the only one of its kind, and will have to compete with other programs, including Warner Bros. Media Camp, which will be in its second year this summer. Mayer is, however, undeterred, stating that he doesn’t expect Warner Bros. Media Camp as being a distraction from Disney’s Accelerator garnering attention.

from Douglas MacFaddin’s Tech Market Page http://ift.tt/1bN7MB7


Published by: Doug MacFaddin

Douglas Willis MacFaddin was born June 16, 1961 in the Miamisburg Hospital to Patricia Ann MacFaddin and Richard Willis MacFaddin. My mother’s maiden name is Morrison and she is the youngest of seven children who were raised in Lycippus, PA. My father was the second of four children and was a twin. He was raised in the town of Viola, DE. At the time of my birth, my father worked at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio in research. Mound was an Atomic Energy Commission facility for nuclear weapon research during the Cold War. My mother made a home for our family. My father passed away in 1991 and my mother is currently living in Avon, CT. Doug MacFaddin is the oldest of five children (Doug, R. Stuart, Anne Marie, Megan and Mary (Heather)). I lived in Ohio for two years, spent the next seven years in Murrysville, PA (outside of Pittsburgh), moved to Little Silver, NJ and relocated my senior year in high school to Avon, CT. My four siblings currently live with their families in Avon, CT and are members of St. Ann’s Church. I attended Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA. In NJ, I attended Little Silver Point Road School, Markham Place School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, NJ for three years. My senior year, I attended Avon High School and I then spent the next four years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. I received a BS in Industrial Economics and graduated in June 1983. While at Salomon Brothers, I was asked to attend a two-week seminar for Public Finance at the University of Michigan in 1986. In Little Silver, I was involved in Troop 126 where I achieved the rank of Life Scout and was both a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. I also was an alter boy at St. James Catholic Church and spent summers a the Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Seabright, NJ and caddying at the Rumson Country Club. At Christian Brothers Academy, I wrestled for the varsity squad for three years. I took second in the districts my junior year and went on to the regionals. I also ran on their cross country team freshman year and was part of the CBA Colt team that hasn’t lost a duel meet since 1973. My senior year at Avon, I won the wrestling States (S). I went on to wrestle at Union College and qualified for the Div III nationals twice (1981, 1982) and was co-captain both years. My senior year at Avon, CT, I also won the States (S) in pole vaulting. It was the first time Avon High School had a state champ in two sports in the same year. During my four years, I earned nine varsity letters between wrestling, track and football. In 1979, I was accepted into The National Honor & Merit Scholars Society. Upon graduating from Union College, I accepted a position at Salomon Brothers Inc in August 1983. I was an analyst in their Public Finance department at One New York Plaza. I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and spent the next four years working at Salomon Brothers. As a result of Black Monday, October 19, 1987 the Public Finance Department of Salomon Brothers was jettisoned to conserve capital. By November 1, 1987, I was working at Dean Witter Reynolds in the new Public Finance Department made up of many of my former Salomon Brother’s colleagues. The new Department was located on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

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