Location-based virtual reality, eSports, robotics and game-led learning are among the concepts being developed by the latest batch of tech companies accepted into the 2017 Disney Accelerator program, which provides mentorship, investment capital and product resources to entrepreneurs over a three-month period.
Early and venture-backed startups selected into the fourth edition of the program include eSports company aXiomatic, location- and VR-based entertainment startup The VOID, delivery robotics company Savioke and game-based learning platform Kahoot!
Since launching in 2014, Disney Accelerator has incubated projects from companies across the US, Europe and Asia, with products ranging from robotics and wearables, to holographic content and artificial intelligence.
Here’s a rundown of the selections in the 2017 program:
aXiomatic, a broad-based eSports company built by leading sports team owners with ownership interests in eSports teams and eSports content distribution. The company holds a majority stake in Team Liquid, a top eSports team in the US and Europe with 60 pro players, coaches and analysts. Interestingly, it also has as a minority stake in amateur eSports platform Super League Gaming, which just received US$15 million in Series C funding led by Nickelodeon, DMG Entertainment and Toba Capital.
Kahoot!, an all-ages game-based learning platform with more than 50 million monthly active users in 180 countries. The platform spans any subject or language and can be used across all mobile devices.
Savioke, which develops and deploys autonomous indoor delivery robots that work alongside people in busy environments including hotels, logistics facilities, and high-rise apartment buildings. The company’s flagship product, Relay (pictured), is a delivery robot that’s already installed in dozens of hotels worldwide.
The VOID, a location-based entertainment company that combines interactive sets, virtual reality, real-time effects and state of the art technology for complete immersive experiences.
Brit + Co, founded in 2011 by Brit Morin, Brit + Co has become one of the largest digital media companies for women reaching a community of more than 125 million online and across platforms. Through inspirational content, online classes and products, the company encourages women to use creativity to shape their best lives.
Epic Games, the creators of Unreal Engine technology, which is used by millions of developers to ship high-quality games, including Gears of War and Infinity Blade, and experiences across PC, console, mobile, VR and AR platforms. The Unreal Engine is also used for cinematic production, visualization, design and simulation.
ProductionPro, a tool for storytellers and creators that improves creative collaboration in film, TV, and theater production by pulling scripts, research, designs, and continuity together.
Samba TV, a data and analytics company that provides television insights by leveraging a source of real-time, opt-in viewership data across broadcast, cable TV, OTT and digital media.
ReplyYes, offers a frictionless e-commerce over mobile messaging experience where customers reply “YES” to buy a product and have it delivered. ReplyYes uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create personalized e-commerce experiences that inspire transactions.
Ambidio, a sound company that creates a continuous sound field with a sense of depth and dimension through any device with stereo speakers.
Hoodline, 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. It also analyzes data sets to unlock insights for businesses and media companies.
Previous Accelerator participants include Sphero, which recently followed up its hit Star Wars BB-8 Droid with a Cars 3-based talking interactive race car called Ultimate Lightning McQueen, and Atom Tickets, a new movie ticketing app that linked up with Rogue One, A Star Wars Story in 2016 to bring ticketing and exclusive merchandise to mobile phones.
Another Accelerator success story is imperson, which has developed AI-powered conversational chatbots for several Disney projects, including Walt Disney World’s new Pandora–The World of Avatar experience.