The Walt Disney Co. is kicking off the third session of its corporate accelerator this week, and revealed 9 new companies admitted to the program. A full list follows at the end of this post.
The companies are developing everything from cinematic virtual reality and holographic content, to robots with human-like facial expressions.
Because alumni of the Disney Accelerator have scored big partnerships with the media and entertainment juggernaut in the past, it is seen as one of the more desirable corporate accelerators out there.
According to research by Future Asia Ventures, there are 131 active corporate accelerators worldwide today, with 13 new programs launching in the first half of 2016. The U.S. has the most with 31 accelerators, representing plenty of competition for dealflow.
Alumni of the Disney Accelerator include Sphero, which created the BB-8 droid Star Wars toy, a best seller for Disney in 2015; and StatMuse, the sports data platform that now provides Disney-owned ESPN with statistical content.
This marks the first year that Disney will be running its accelerator fully in-house without relying on TechStars, the outside partner that helped it get the program off the ground in 2014. Some changes are at hand, accordingly.