Disney will invest $120,000 in 10 different start-ups as part of a new accelerator program the media conglomerate unveiled Wednesday. The Disney Accelerator, based in Los Angeles, will accept applications from early-stage companies it can help mentor and provide needed capital.
Disney executives from Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and other segments of the company will provide insight to entrepreneurs, and the company has promised CEO Bob Iger will also make himself available.
Time Warner has offered a similar opportunity to start-ups through its Media Camp, while talent agency UTA partnered with USC and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins for its own “startup garage.” Now Disney wants in on the action.
“Disney has always been defined by innovation, leveraging the technology required to build the future of entertainment,” Kevin A. Mayer EVP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development, said 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.”
Michael D. Abrams, Disney’s senior vice president of innovation, will oversee the program. It begins June 30.