Disney teams with Techstarts for seed-stage accelerator programme


Media and entertainment group the Walt Disney Company has launched a new seed-stage investment programme, the Los Angeles-based Disney Accelerator.

Managed by US startup accelerator Techstars, the programme will select ten startup companies with “innovative consumer media and entertainment product ideas” for a three-month mentorship programme.

Participants will receive $120,000 in investment capital to develop their ideas, along with mentor support from Disney executives, including chairman and CEO Robert Iger, and executives from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Mentors will also include other entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists, and Techstars’ extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors and executives, the company said.

The programme begins June 30, and it concludes with an Investor Demo Day in September where each team will present their company to industry leaders and investors.

“Disney has always been defined by innovation, leveraging the technology required to build the future of entertainment,” said Kevin Mayer, executive vice president, corporate strategy and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company. “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 businesses on the strength of exciting new ideas.”

The Disney Accelerator programme will be overseen by Michael Abrams, Disney’s senior vice president, Innovation.

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