Disney Accelerator program invests in 10 tech startups

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Disney incubator program invests in 10 tech startups
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Disney Accelerator kicks off a mentorship and investment program dedicated to building tech startups with a focus on media and entertainment.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ten companies, 15 weeks and $120,000. Three components of Disney Accelerator, a mentorship and investment program designed for tech startups with a focus on media and entertainment.

The program brings together ten companies for 15 weeks to incubate their ideas. Each company chosen gets up to $120,000 investment from Disney and access to Disney mentors and networks.

Codarica is one of the companies hand-picked to take part in the Disney Accelerator this year, which began June 30 and ended Oct. 14. They create games that teach kids how to code.

"We've developed the whole app during our 15 weeks in the Accelerator and Disney does entertainment for kids the best," Codarica CEO Sanna Nilsson said.

Executives like Disney President and CEO Bob Iger and other entrepreneurs in the industry served as mentors throughout the process.

"We have a lot of executives at this company who are pretty good at identifying opportunities that can really be big," said James Pitaro, president of Disney Interactive Media Group.

But the Accelerator program is no charity. Disney is hoping some or all of these companies will take off.

"We are investors in these companies, so if they explode that's great for us as an investor. They can actually add value to the Walt Disney Company from a partnership perspective," Pitaro said.

The first class included Chore Monster, Jogg, Naritiv, Sidelines, Smart Toy, SnowShoe, Sphero, Twigtale and Tyffon.

Although this year's class has been chosen, the Accelerator will be back again.

"This is the first time, but it will not be the last. We plan on doing it again next year," Pitaro said.

For more information, visit disneyaccelerator.com.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC7.