Disney celebrates 10th anniversary for Disney Accelerator with new startup class

The Walt Disney Company is celebrating the 10th year of the Disney Accelerator program, an initiative dedicated to propelling the growth of innovative global companies.

In tandem with this milestone, Disney introduced the five companies that will participate in the 2024 program, all united in their mission to explore how emerging technologies can fuel human creativity and imagination while shaping the future of media and technology.

“Disney has always been a leader in innovation, understanding and embracing technological shifts to enhance experiences and bring timeless stories to life. The Disney Accelerator allows us to continue this legacy of innovation and the responsible use of technology in service of storytelling,” said Bonnie Rosen, general manager of the Disney Accelerator, in a statement. “As we kick off the 10th year of the program, we are joined by leading companies that share our belief in the unmatched power of human creativity and imagination, exploring new ways to bring Disney magic to fans everywhere.”

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The 2022 Disney Accelerator class.

The 2024 Disney Accelerator program welcomes the following companies:

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AudioShake: An audio technology company utilizing AI to separate layers of recorded sound, making audio interactive, editable, and customizable.

ElevenLabs: A voice AI research and deployment company creating realistic, versatile, and contextually aware AI audio. VentureBeat has covered them before.

Nuro: An autonomous vehicle company building custom, electric, zero-occupant vehicles for goods delivery.

PrometheanAI: A company offering tools for virtual world creation and digital asset management using natural language prompts. We’ve covered these folks a lot.

StatusPro: An immersive entertainment company leveraging virtual and augmented reality to create first-person sports gaming experiences. We just wrote about their new $20 million funding round.

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Acceleration under way at Disney.

For a century, Disney has been at the forefront of technological innovation, utilizing advancements in service of storytelling and experiences. The 2024 Disney Accelerator cohort reflects this commitment, sharing Disney’s vision of exploring the benefits of AI to foster human imagination and creativity in an ethical manner.

Since its inception in 2014, the Disney Accelerator has connected over 60 global companies, including industry trailblazers like Epic Games, Kahoot!, Illumix, and Inworld, with the creative expertise of Disney. Throughout the program, each participating company receives mentorship from Disney’s senior leadership team. The 2024 Disney Accelerator program will culminate in a Demo Day in spring at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California.

If there’s a poster child here, it’s Epic Games. A couple of weeks ago, Disney announced it was making a $1.5 billion investment into Epic Games to help it build out a metaverse-like Disney immersive universe.

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