NEWS: 2015 Disney Accelerator Demo Day Showcases 10 Promising Start-Ups

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The Disney Accelerator program, powered by Techstars, is designed to accelerate the growth of start-up companies from around the world. Today the 10 companies selected to participate in the 2015 Disney Accelerator program presented their businesses to the investment and entrepreneurial communities, industry leaders and Disney executives in a Demo Day event held at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California.

Participants in the three-month Disney Accelerator program received up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their ideas and they were mentored by top Disney executives who included Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger and leaders from Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, along with Techstars’ extensive network of entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

Here are the 10 promising start-ups that presented their businesses today:

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  • EMOTIV creates technology to enable everyone to build a relationship with their brain. EMOTIV Insight, which is available now, is a wearable for your brain that monitors emotions, improves mental performance and controls both virtual and physical objects with thoughts.
  • FEM Inc. engages diverse audiences with Prizma, a platform that powers personalized video experiences using principles of neuroscience.
  • HYP3R makes it easy for businesses to engage influential customers at specific locations on a personal level, in real-time.
  • imperson is pioneering conversational media, driven by artificial intelligence, so fans can message their favorite movie and TV characters. imperson announced today that it is working with the team at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Labs to create a new messaging experience for The Muppets featuring Miss Piggy coming later this fall.
  • Littlstar is a Virtual Reality and 360 video consumer destination and developer platform, where audiences can discover and share premium immersive content. Littlstar is live on iPhone, Android, Web and the Gear VR, with more devices coming.
  • MakieLab lets kids bring toys to life by building their own customizable 3D-printed toys through creative games and apps. MakieLab will be introducing Disney-, Disney•Pixar- and Marvel-branded accessories for Makie dolls, as well as helping kids create their own versions of a Star Darling—inspired by Disney’s brand-new franchise for girls—in Fall 2016.
  • Open Bionics is turning children with limb differences into super heroes, creating low-cost 3D-printed bionic hands for amputees. Today Open Bionics revealed custom bionic hands for kids, and The Walt Disney Company is donating the time of its creative teams and providing royalty-free licenses, which will allow Open Bionics to offer Disney-inspired bionic hands for kids from franchises such as Star Wars, Marvel’s Iron Man and Disney’s Frozen.
  • Pundit is talk for mobile and social—an easy way to create, share and respond to stories with your voice.
  • StatMuse is an interactive platform for sports fans to search, share and discover sports, powered by simple natural language. On StatMuse, every search result is a piece of content and every sports fan becomes a content creator.
  • All of the companies that were part of the 2014 Disney Accelerator have raised capital, been acquired or become profitable—and many of the participating companies have launched products and programs in conjunction with The Walt Disney Company, including Sphero’s hugely successful BB-8 droid toy that was released on Force Friday.

“Disney Accelerator has allowed us to work with some of the world’s most innovative start-ups who are developing products, experiences, and technologies that will help shape the future of entertainment,” Kevin Mayer, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Walt Disney Company, said. “Their entrepreneurial spirit, combined with Disney’s experience, make for a powerful combination—and we are excited to partner with many of them as they continue their journeys.”

To learn more about the Disney Accelerator program, please visit DisneyAccelerator.com.

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