Inaugural Disney Accelerator Demo Day Takes Place at Walt Disney Studios

021214_01_DisneyAcceleratorAfter finishing the 15-week immersive Disney Accelerator program, powered by Techstars, the 10 selected start-ups are currently presenting their businesses to the investment and entrepreneurial communities, industry leaders and Disney executives at a Demo Day at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. The companies were mentored by more than 60 Disney executives as well as 70 entrepreneurs and investors from the business community, received up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their companies and obtained special access to Disney resources from across the Company. A second Disney Accelerator was also announced and is slated for 2015.

Meet the companies that participated in Disney Accelerator below:

  1. ChoreMonster unites parents and kids with the most ridiculously fun and motivating family framework, so every home is a joyful place.
  2. Codarica creates seriously fun games that teach kids to code.
  3. Jogg is a mobile video platform that changes the direction of how we engage our audience.
  4. Narativ is a marketing and analytics platform for micro-content, starting with Snapchat.
  5. Sidelines is a people-powered content marketing platform that drives brand influence through discussions by expert fans.
  6. Smart Toy is a learning toy that talks and listens to kids, and can be customized to know your child’s name, teach lessons and much more.
  7. SnowShoe creates magic with a touch of plastic, and SnowShoe-powered objects unlock digital content through your smartphone.
  8. Sphero is the connected play company, fusing digital and physical play by creating toys and robots that you control with a smart device.
  9. Twigtale builds happier families through personalization and expert-fueled storytelling.
  10. TYFFON makes entertaining apps that put you in the center of the fun—founded by the creators of the ZombieBooth series, with nearly 30 million downloads.


Lots of great milestones were reached during the course of the Disney Accelerator. For instance, Smart Toy, a company that makes toys that teach, talk and interact with children, announced during Demo Day that it has been acquired by Cartwheel Kids, a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of children’s products. In addition, SnowShoe announced that it had secured $2.2 million in seed financing and ChoreMonster and Codarica both launched mobile apps. Sphero also introduced its new Ollie product during the program, and Twigtale announced regarded pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp as its editor-in-chief.

“This group of start-ups has made tremendous progress evolving and growing their businesses in the past fifteen weeks,” Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, said. “It has been a fantastic learning experience for them and an opportunity for Disney to get in on the ground floor with a new generation of innovators. We look forward to the opportunity to work with all of these companies moving forward and to meeting a new set of participants next year.”

Disney’s Startup Accelerator Program Announces Participants

by Kevin Mayer, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company


Earlier this year, we announced Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, a first-of-its-kind program for the Company that gives today’s innovators, who are designing the future of entertainment and technology, the benefit of Disney’s expertise and guidance.

We’ve hit the ground running since then to find the best creative minds, entrepreneurs, and visionaries to help them develop and build our industry of tomorrow. After reviewing many diverse applicants from all around the world, today we’re pleased to announce the 11 startup companies that Disney selected for this special, immersive mentorship program:

  • Buzzstarter – Buzzstarter is the world’s first scalable programmatic content marketing platform.
  • ChoreMonster – ChoreMonster is a web and mobile platform that makes chores fun for kids and turns parents into superheroes.
  • Codarica – Codarica serves as children’s first interaction into the world of code with help from characters Cody Coder and Holly Hacker.
  • Cogo – Cogo provides video monetization solutions for content creators.
  • 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.
  • Sphero – Sphero is the connected play company, which fuses digital and physical play by creating robots that you control with a smart device.
  • Sidelines – Sidelines fixes the problem of substandard online discussions and comments by sourcing smart, high-quality discussions from its curated team of more than 400 experts, and distributing these discussions to publishers based on relevance.
  • SnowShoe – SnowShoe makes simple, magical pieces of plastic that interact with touch screens to create the perfect bridge between physical items and digital content.
  • Twigtale – Twigtale provides parents with personalized, high-quality, accessible expert advice for every major transition a child undergoes.
  • TYFFON – TYFFON is an entertainment app development company and creator of the ZombieBooth series with more than 25 million total downloads.
  • 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.

For the next 15 weeks, Disney Accelerator will provide these companies with the tools and support they need to further expand their visions. Top Disney executives will serve as mentors, and each will receive up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their companies. Participants will also have special access to stories, characters, technology and other resources from across the Company.

The program kicks off with a meeting of teams and mentors, including Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, and leaders from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering. Moving forward, the selected companies will consult with mentors regularly to build on their concepts and business plans, and to formulate long-term strategies. The program will culminate with a Demo Day in September, where each company will present to Disney executives, industry leaders and the entrepreneurial community.

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. We are thrilled by the response we’ve received and the high caliber of applicants to the program and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with this excellent group of creative entrepreneurs and really making a difference with these startup companies.