After 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:
- ChoreMonster unites parents and kids with the most ridiculously fun and motivating family framework, so every home is a joyful place.
- Codarica creates seriously fun games that teach kids to code.
- Jogg is a mobile video platform that changes the direction of how we engage our audience.
- Narativ is a marketing and analytics platform for micro-content, starting with Snapchat.
- Sidelines is a people-powered content marketing platform that drives brand influence through discussions by expert fans.
- 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.
- SnowShoe creates magic with a touch of plastic, and SnowShoe-powered objects unlock digital content through your smartphone.
- Sphero is the connected play company, fusing digital and physical play by creating toys and robots that you control with a smart device.
- Twigtale builds happier families through personalization and expert-fueled storytelling.
- 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.”