Walt Disney Co. is giving 10 startup companies the chance at $120,000 to develop their ideas and receive mentoring from top company executives.
The three-month mentorship and seed-stage investment program, called Disney Accelerator, begins June 30, and will give participants access to various company resources, including iconic Disney characters and stories.
Disney Accelerator will end in September with Investor Demo Day, when the 10 teams will present their ideas to prospective investors.
“Disney has always been defined by innovation, leveraging the technology required to build the future of entertainment,” said Kevin A. Mayer, Disney's executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development, in a statement. “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.”
Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger will be among the company executives offering mentor support to the 10 companies.
Disney Accelerator will be managed by Techstars, a startup accelerator and mentorship-driven seed stage investment program.
Disney, based in Burbank, isn't the only entertainment company to get in on the accelerator action. Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting have partnered on a similar three-month venture called Media Camp.
Disney has a history of initiatives that are meant to foster talent: The company's famously secretive Imagineering branch has offered an internship program that has given interns a chance to brainstorm ideas for theme park attractions.
Applications to Disney Accelerator are due by April 16.
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