Disney Accelerator Returns For Third Year

The Walt Disney Company said Thursday that it will run its startup accelerator program, the Disney Accelerator, for the third year, with applications for the next session due on April 10th. According to Disney, the three month mentorship and investment program will run through the summer, with a Demo Day in October. The program, which is run in Burbank, includes both early and venture-backed startups in the area of media and entertainment. The biggest success so far out of earlier programs has been Boulder, Colorado-based Sphero, which--due to its participation in the accelerator program--ended up developing the Star Wars BB-8 robot toy, which was one of this season's most popular toys. Disney has applied a lot of corporate resources to companies in its accelerator, lending serious brand assets and marketing power to products coming from its accelerator companies, in addition to access to Disney mentors and other resources.