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Disney Forms Business Accelerator

Walt Disney Co. announced on Wednesday it will invest $1.2 million in early-stage entertainment and media technology through a new business accelerator. The Burbank company is partnering on its Disney Accelerator with Techstars, a Boulder, Colo. accelerator with similar arrangement with sports apparel manufacturer Nike Inc., telecommunications giant Sprint Corp banking and London financial services firm Barclays plc. The program will give 10 companies access to company executives, entertainment industry leaders, venture capitalists, and Techstars’ network of entrepreneurs, investors and executives. Each company will receive $120,000 in financing. Disney did not detail the equity stake it might take in the companies The startups will begin the program in June and in September present their ideas to industry leaders and investors. “Disney Accelerator offers a unique collaboration between some of the best creative minds in the entertainment industry and the modern-day visionaries who are starting businesses on the strength of exciting new ideas,” said Kevin A. Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development. Shares closed up 12 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $77.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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