The Walt Disney Company Announces Second Startup Accelerator Program

BURBANK, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 27, 2015 — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced that it is accepting applications for its second Disney Accelerator program powered by Techstars. Disney Accelerator will select a class of 10 startup companies for a three-month mentorship and investment program beginning July 6, 2015 and concluding with a Demo Day on October 6, 2015.

The program is open to technology-based startups with a vision for making an impact on the world of media and entertainment. Participants will be offered $120,000 in investment capital along with mentor support from top Disney executives, entrepreneurs, investors and other notable business leaders from the entertainment and technology communities.

In 2014, Disney launched its first Disney Accelerator with companies focused on a range of products including connected toys, mobile video, STEM applications, social media, advertising technology and more. Disney continues to work with many of the alumni from the inaugural class, which included Choremonster, Codarica, Jogg, Naritiv, Sidelines, Smart Toy, SnowShoe, Sphero, Twigtale and TYFFON.

The 2014 Disney Accelerator class reached a number of significant milestones during the program. SnowShoe secured $2.2 million in seed financing; ChoreMonster and Codarica both launched mobile apps; Sphero introduced its new Ollie product and Smart Toy was acquired by Cartwheel Kids, a Los Angeles-based manufacturer of children’s products.

“The Disney Accelerator was born of Disney’s long term commitment to innovation and its position at the intersection of technology and entertainment,” said Kevin Mayer, Disney’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development. “The 2014 Disney Accelerator demonstrated that pairing Disney’s creative and business talent with entrepreneurs can produce an energizing and valuable exchange of ideas and promote tremendous innovation. We look forward to working with a new group of start-ups in the months to come.”

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About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $48.8 billion in its Fiscal Year 2014.

About Techstars

The massive Techstars interconnected network of over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and corporate partners help the most promising startups do more faster. With 15 programs worldwide, our mentorship-driven accelerators fund the best companies in the most entrepreneurial communities. Since 2006, 80% of the 500 companies from almost 40 Techstars programs have received funding, representing approximately $2.5 billion in market capitalization. For more information, visit


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