July 12, 2017
There’s no denying that BB-8 was the star of the most recent chapter in the main Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. What you might not realize is that the adorable droid was the brain child of Sphero, a robotics and digital technology company and an alumni to the Disney Accelerator program. The BB-8 app-enabled Droid had such a global adoption among kids and adults that it was named the number one Star Wars toy of 2015.
In a press release The Disney Accelerator highlights the success of Sphero and announced:
“They have a multi-property lineup for this year including the App-enabled Ultimate Lightning McQueen, the voice interactive Spider-Man, and more.”
Other Disney startups such as Atom Ticket, a new movie ticketing app, partnered with the next Star Wars movie and will continue to work with Walt Disney Studios on major film releases. “And over the past three years, Imperson has developed conversational chatbots powered by their artificial intelligence for several Disney projects, including most recently for Walt Disney World’s Pandora – The World of Avatar, according to a press release.
This corporate partnership has proven well for these startups in helping them launch their products and services into another galaxy.
“The Disney Accelerator has provided The Walt Disney Company incredible opportunities to connect with and be inspired by many talented entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Michael Abrams, Senior Vice President, Innovation, The Walt Disney Company. “This year, more than ever, we are working with companies with the potential to help define the future of media and entertainment together with Disney.”
For startups entering program they receive investment capital, access to coworking space at Disney’s creative campus and mentor support and guidance from top Disney executives, entrepreneurs, investors and other notable business leaders from the entertainment and technology communities, and have a Demo Day at the campus. Meet the 11 startups for 2017:
Ambidio is an innovative sound company that creates a continuous sound field with a sense of depth and dimension through any device with stereo speakers, bringing an immersive sound experience to everyone.
aXiomatic is a broad-based esports company built by leading sports team owners with ownership interests in esports teams and esports content distribution. The company has a majority stake in Team Liquid, a top esports team in the US and Europe with 60 pro players, coaches, and analysts competing in nine games as well as a minority stake in Super League Gaming.
Brit + Co is a digital media company that inspires, educates and entertains real women with a creative spirit. Through inspirational content, online classes, and products, Brit + Co enables their audience of over 125 million to use creativity to shape their best lives.
Epic Games is the creator of Unreal Engine technology, which is used by millions of developers to ship visually stunning, high-quality games and experiences across PC, console, mobile, VR and AR platforms. Developers also choose Epic’s Unreal Engine for cinematic production, visualization, design and simulation. Epic is known for creating the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games, as well as newer titles such as Fortnite, Paragon and Robo Recall.
Hoodline is a local news and content discovery platform, that uses machine learning to distribute geotagged and relevant content from hundreds of media partners into websites or mobile apps. Hoodline also analyzes data sets to unlock insights for businesses and media companies.
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform with more than 50 million monthly active users in 180 countries. Kahoot! makes it easy to create, discover, play, and share fun learning games in minutes—for any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages.
ProductionPro is a tool for storytellers and creators focused on improving creative collaboration in Film, TV, and Theatre production. ProductionPro pulls scripts, research, designs, and continuity together to empower creative decision-making.
ReplyYes is a frictionless e-commerce over mobile messaging experience: customers simply reply “YES” to buy the product and have it delivered. ReplyYes utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to create personalized e-commerce experiences that inspire transactions.
Samba TV is a data and analytics company providing essential television insights by leveraging a source of real-time, opt-in viewership data across broadcast, cable TV, OTT, and digital media. Through software integrations with smart TV manufacturers, Samba recognizes content and associated viewership patterns making TV audiences more addressable and measurable while helping marketers activate cross-screen campaigns and maximize their impact.
Savioke is a robotics company that develops and deploys autonomous indoor delivery robots that work alongside people in busy environments such as hotels, logistics facilities, and high-rise apartment buildings. The company’s flagship product, Relay, is an autonomous delivery robot that is already installed in dozens of hotels worldwide.
The VOID is a location-based entertainment company that fully immerses guests in virtual experiences with friends and family, engaging all of their senses. The VOID combines interactive sets, virtual reality, real-time effects, and state of the art technology to bring guests into their experience.
Read more about startups in the Los Angeles area at TechCo
Photos courtesy of Disney and Sphero
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