On Wednesday, October 10, The Walt Disney Company will showcase the companies participating in the 2018 Disney Accelerator program, which connects select companies from around the world with the creativity, imagination and expertise of Disney and gives them unique access to the Company’s leadership team, mentorship and support. This year’s participants include an edtech company based in India, a renewable power company from New York City and an augmented reality platform that brings people together in new and exciting ways. These companies and their fellow 2018 participants will share a look at their bright futures during the fifth annual Demo Day; the event will be livestreamed worldwide on ABCNews.com, beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT.
“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of working with leading entrepreneurs from around the world and exploring collaborations with the potential to change the landscape of media and entertainment,” said Michael Abrams, Senior Vice President, Innovation, The Walt Disney Company. “Our portfolio of Disney Accelerator companies has collaborated with our businesses to drive innovation, developing cutting-edge technology and creating incredible new products. We look forward to continuing to multiply those efforts industry-wide for years to come.”
The Disney Accelerator 2018 speakers include:
- Ethan Agarwal, Founder and CEO, Aaptiv: a leading provider of premium digital wellness content with a fast-growing community of over 200,000 members who take more than 30,000 of Aaptiv’s innovative audio guided classes each day.
- Pravin Prakash, Co-Founding Student and Chief Marketing Officer, BYJU’s: India’s largest edtech company that is reinventing how students learn through its learning app with personalized video.
- Ben Keighran, Founder and CEO, Caffeine: a social broadcasting platform for live gaming, entertainment, and creative arts.
- Joanna McFarland, Co-founder and CEO, HopSkipDrive: a leader in technology-enabled ride services for kids, serving families, K–12 schools, nonprofits and businesses that serve children.
- Anjney Midha, Co-Founder and CEO, Ubiquity6: a massively multiplayer augmented reality platform focused on bringing people together in physical spaces.
- Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO, Uncharted Power: an award-winning renewable power company that specializes in harnessing the energy from motion to create entire ecosystems of power for communities around the world.
- Noah Horton, Founder and CEO, Unsupervised: a company that helps teams find hidden insights in their data. Unsupervised has built an AI based on unsupervised learning that finds actionable insights in data without requiring human guidance or supervision.
This year’s Demo Day will also include a TED fireside chat with Fadi Chehadé, a Partner at ABRY Partners, who serves on the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution advisory board and is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Fadi is a serial entrepreneur, having built and sold three Internet content delivery companies including the AI company Vocado acquired by Oracle, and is the former CEO of ICANN and former General Manager of IBM Global Technology Services in the Middle East and Africa.
Since the launch of Disney Accelerator in 2014, numerous companies have continued to collaborate with various divisions of the Company on a wide range of innovative, industry-leading products:
- littleBits had the No. 1 tech toy on Amazon during last year’s holiday season with the Droid Inventor Kit and this summer launched the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, which lets kids create and customize high-tech hero gear and a unique Super Hero identity using littleBits electronic blocks and the littleBits app.
- The VOID and ILMxLAB, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, created the location-based hyper-reality experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which has launched in several locations around the world; and The VOID and ILMxLAB also recently announced two upcoming multi-sensory, fully immersive experiences. Ralph Breaks VR will debut this fall, and a new adventure from Marvel Studios is coming in 2019.
- Epic Games, developers of Unreal Engine and Fortnight, is collaborating with Lucasfilm to bring the power of Epic’s Unreal Engine real-time rendering to live-action production for the first time ever on a series for Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer streaming service launching late next year.
The Disney Accelerator Demo Day will be livestreamed worldwide on ABCNews.com and ABC News mobile and OTT apps for Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV on October 10 at 2:30 p.m. PT.