BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today, The Walt Disney Company concluded the 2016 Disney Accelerator program, hosting its third annual Demo Day. At the event, the nine participating companies presented their businesses to investors, Disney executives and other industry leaders.
Demo Day follows the three-month immersive Disney Accelerator program, which gave participants from around the world unprecedented guidance, access and opportunities to work with all divisions of The Walt Disney Company. In addition, leaders from participating companies received mentorship from Disney executives, including Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger, as well as leaders from The Walt Disney Company, including Disney|ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and others.
“Technology and innovation are at the heart of every experience at The Walt Disney Company, and Disney Accelerator puts us on the ground floor with some of the most promising startups in the world through a program aimed at accelerating the future of media and entertainment,” said Kevin Mayer, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company.
This year’s program builds on the success of past Disney Accelerator initiatives, which first launched in 2014. Past participants continue to work with Disney, including Sphero, which created the BB-8 droid toy, the number one Star Wars toy in 2015. Additionally, StatMuse , an AI-powered sports storytelling and knowledge platform, is currently providing ESPN with interactive statistical content, and Israel-based imperson launched The Muppets’ Miss Piggy and Disney’s Zootopia chat experiences on Facebook powered by the company’s artificial intelligence technology.
The Disney Accelerator 2016 companies and their announcements with The Walt Disney Company include:
Hanson Robotics – a leader in creating human-like robots with a full range of facial expressions. Through the Disney Accelerator, Hanson Robotics is conducting research and development with DCPI and Walt Disney Imagineering to explore bringing Disney characters to life as consumer products that could be sold at retail.