Dec 01, 2020
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Disney Showcases Tech Start-Ups in Latest Accelerator Program

Emotiv uses EEG signals to monitor emotions — including what audiences are feeling, in real time, about a movie or TV show.

Open Bionics creates low-cost 3-D printed bionic hands for amputees — including kids who can get “Iron Man,” “Star Wars” and “Frozen”-themed limbs.

Im Person is trying to pioneer “interactive storylines,” using artificial intelligence so fans can message their favorite characters, including Miss Piggy of “The Muppets.”

That was some of the technical wizardry on display as the Walt Disney Co. staged a demo day for its Disney Accelerator program, in which startups are paired with studio employees for a three-month immersive mentorship program.

The goal is for the start-ups to develop media and entertainment products, with the lure of collaboration with Disney on an array of ventures. All of the companies from this year have tie-ins in the works, according to Disney executives.

“The idea was that there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there, many of them are start-up companies which could have a great connection to all of our brands,” said Kevin Mayer, senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Disney. “It infects us with this great energy and some new perspective on things.”

The companies selected after an application process receive $20,000 upon acceptance, and then are offered an option to an additional $100,000 convertible debt note, which converts into equity at a discount to the price of the next funding. IP by a participating company is retained by that company.

“It is great to make money out of our investments, but the strategic benefit of bringing in all these entrepreneurs with all these new ideas and aligning them with our business units and seeing where we can take some of those ideas, that is the real benefit,” Mayer said.

This is the second year of the program, in which Disney is partnered with technology accelerator Techstars. An often-cited success story is that of a 2014 participant, Sphero, above, which last year was paired with Disney CEO Robert Iger as mentor. He saw application for their spherical robotics in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with the Sphero technology used for the BB-8 droid and an official toy that went on sale last month.

At their demos, each of the CEOs gave short presentations.

Open Bionics CEO Joel Gibbard said that a problem with bionic hands has been in affordability and, for kids, the stigma as well. The idea of creating bionic hands tailored to Disney properties, he said, is to help make children “proud” to be wearing them. Disney provided a royalty free license for their contribution, such as the “Iron Man” hand and the “Star Wars Light Saber” hand, he said.

With its technology, Im Person CEO Erez Baum said that the company is tapping into the audience of 2 billion active messaging users worldwide. The “Miss Piggy Messaging Experience,” he said, will be featured on her Facebook page.

Tan Le, CEO of Emotiv, said that the company has just started selling wearable headsets that measure such things as stress, as well as applications that react to mental command. She declined to identify other Disney tie-ins than audience research, but at the end of her presentation gave a possible clue. “The force is with us and with Disney’s help we can awaken it,” she said.

Source: Variety

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Front Page, Headline, Industry News, Technology News

Disney Showcases Tech Start-Ups in Latest Accelerator Program

Emotiv uses EEG signals to monitor emotions — including what audiences are feeling, in real time, about a movie or TV show.

Open Bionics creates low-cost 3-D printed bionic hands for amputees — including kids who can get “Iron Man,” “Star Wars” and “Frozen”-themed limbs.

Im Person is trying to pioneer “interactive storylines,” using artificial intelligence so fans can message their favorite characters, including Miss Piggy of “The Muppets.”

That was some of the technical wizardry on display as the Walt Disney Co. staged a demo day for its Disney Accelerator program, in which startups are paired with studio employees for a three-month immersive mentorship program.

The goal is for the start-ups to develop media and entertainment products, with the lure of collaboration with Disney on an array of ventures. All of the companies from this year have tie-ins in the works, according to Disney executives.

“The idea was that there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there, many of them are start-up companies which could have a great connection to all of our brands,” said Kevin Mayer, senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Disney. “It infects us with this great energy and some new perspective on things.”

The companies selected after an application process receive $20,000 upon acceptance, and then are offered an option to an additional $100,000 convertible debt note, which converts into equity at a discount to the price of the next funding. IP by a participating company is retained by that company.

“It is great to make money out of our investments, but the strategic benefit of bringing in all these entrepreneurs with all these new ideas and aligning them with our business units and seeing where we can take some of those ideas, that is the real benefit,” Mayer said.

This is the second year of the program, in which Disney is partnered with technology accelerator Techstars. An often-cited success story is that of a 2014 participant, Sphero, above, which last year was paired with Disney CEO Robert Iger as mentor. He saw application for their spherical robotics in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with the Sphero technology used for the BB-8 droid and an official toy that went on sale last month.

At their demos, each of the CEOs gave short presentations.

Open Bionics CEO Joel Gibbard said that a problem with bionic hands has been in affordability and, for kids, the stigma as well. The idea of creating bionic hands tailored to Disney properties, he said, is to help make children “proud” to be wearing them. Disney provided a royalty free license for their contribution, such as the “Iron Man” hand and the “Star Wars Light Saber” hand, he said.

With its technology, Im Person CEO Erez Baum said that the company is tapping into the audience of 2 billion active messaging users worldwide. The “Miss Piggy Messaging Experience,” he said, will be featured on her Facebook page.

Tan Le, CEO of Emotiv, said that the company has just started selling wearable headsets that measure such things as stress, as well as applications that react to mental command. She declined to identify other Disney tie-ins than audience research, but at the end of her presentation gave a possible clue. “The force is with us and with Disney’s help we can awaken it,” she said.

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Headline, Industry News, Technology News

Disney Showcases Tech Start-Ups in Latest Accelerator Program

Emotiv uses EEG signals to monitor emotions — including what audiences are feeling, in real time, about a movie or TV show.

Open Bionics creates low-cost 3-D printed bionic hands for amputees — including kids who can get “Iron Man,” “Star Wars” and “Frozen”-themed limbs.

Im Person is trying to pioneer “interactive storylines,” using artificial intelligence so fans can message their favorite characters, including Miss Piggy of “The Muppets.”

That was some of the technical wizardry on display as the Walt Disney Co. staged a demo day for its Disney Accelerator program, in which startups are paired with studio employees for a three-month immersive mentorship program.

The goal is for the start-ups to develop media and entertainment products, with the lure of collaboration with Disney on an array of ventures. All of the companies from this year have tie-ins in the works, according to Disney executives.

“The idea was that there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there, many of them are start-up companies which could have a great connection to all of our brands,” said Kevin Mayer, senior executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Disney. “It infects us with this great energy and some new perspective on things.”

The companies selected after an application process receive $20,000 upon acceptance, and then are offered an option to an additional $100,000 convertible debt note, which converts into equity at a discount to the price of the next funding. IP by a participating company is retained by that company.

“It is great to make money out of our investments, but the strategic benefit of bringing in all these entrepreneurs with all these new ideas and aligning them with our business units and seeing where we can take some of those ideas, that is the real benefit,” Mayer said.

This is the second year of the program, in which Disney is partnered with technology accelerator Techstars. An often-cited success story is that of a 2014 participant, Sphero, above, which last year was paired with Disney CEO Robert Iger as mentor. He saw application for their spherical robotics in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with the Sphero technology used for the BB-8 droid and an official toy that went on sale last month.

At their demos, each of the CEOs gave short presentations.

Open Bionics CEO Joel Gibbard said that a problem with bionic hands has been in affordability and, for kids, the stigma as well. The idea of creating bionic hands tailored to Disney properties, he said, is to help make children “proud” to be wearing them. Disney provided a royalty free license for their contribution, such as the “Iron Man” hand and the “Star Wars Light Saber” hand, he said.

With its technology, Im Person CEO Erez Baum said that the company is tapping into the audience of 2 billion active messaging users worldwide. The “Miss Piggy Messaging Experience,” he said, will be featured on her Facebook page.

Tan Le, CEO of Emotiv, said that the company has just started selling wearable headsets that measure such things as stress, as well as applications that react to mental command. She declined to identify other Disney tie-ins than audience research, but at the end of her presentation gave a possible clue. “The force is with us and with Disney’s help we can awaken it,” she said.

Source: Variety

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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