PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Comcast NBCUniversal today announced the 10 startups selected for the inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars. These startups were chosen through a global application process targeting startups who are developing the next generation of media, entertainment, and connectivity companies. They will call Comcast NBCUniversal’s global headquarters in Philadelphia home for the duration of the 13-week program, which kicked off today and will culminate in a Demo Day on October 11.
Over the course of the program, startups will refine and test their business models while leveraging one-on-one mentoring from experts across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, film studios, cable networks, Comcast Ventures, and Xfinity products and services, as well as Techstars’ mentors with deep industry, investment, and entrepreneurship experience.
“We are thrilled with the interest in our first accelerator in partnership with Techstars as evidenced by the hundreds of applications from a diverse pool of startups from around the world,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer for Comcast. “We are excited to mentor and collaborate with these innovative companies who are experimenting in interesting areas related to our business.”
A selection committee made up of Techstars experts and leaders from several Comcast NBCUniversal business units screened the startup applicants working in five areas of focus: Connected Life, Entertainment Everywhere, Next Gen Marketing, Smart Places, and Digital Wellness. The 2018 class includes:
Alive5 provides businesses with PCI-compliant chat software that allows them to engage and seamlessly accept payments from customers via website, social media accounts, and text messaging.
eyecandylab is a platform of immersive, augmented reality experiences for linear TV.
Orai is an artificial intelligence speech coach that helps people improve their public speaking skills with personalized coaching.
New York City and Seoul, South Korea
Pium is an IoT-powered platform for a personalized olfactory experience.
Los Angeles, CA
Polycade is a modern arcade gaming console powered by a platform through which developers can build and sell games.
Media, Toronto, Canada
Portl Media is a network of personalized media and entertainment experiences for rideshare vehicles.
Interactive, Toronto, Canada
Tally is a mobile platform for live interactive game shows.
Tinker, Los Angeles, CA
Thinker Tinker creates companions that engage children through an innovative blend of traditional hands-on tactile play and digital interaction.
Labs, New York, NY
Trapica allows marketing campaigns on social networks to reach the right audiences at the right time by leveraging an artificial intelligence algorithm that autonomously optimizes targeting decisions in real time.
WiARframe is a prototyping tool that allows creatives to effortlessly craft interactive augmented reality content, without any coding, 3D knowledge, or expensive equipment.
"We are excited to offer our 10 selected companies this one-of-a-kind program, which pairs up Techstars' proven mentorship-driven accelerator with Comcast NBCUniversal's deep industry expertise,” said Techstars Managing Director, Maya Baratz. “This is going to be an amazing year for our program and the Philadelphia startup community!”
Startups from around the world applied to this exclusive program, including submissions from startups in 38 countries and all of the major metropolitan markets in the United States.
Comcast has a long history of supporting startup communities and this accelerator is just one of the many ways in which entrepreneurs can gain valuable access and insights to Comcast NBCUniversal. Comcast launched its first venture arm in 1999, and in 2010, Comcast Ventures was formed and has since grown into one of the most active corporate venture arms in the country. LIFT Labs offers programmed talks, mentor sessions with Comcast NBCUniversal employees and partners, plus events and other educational resources designed to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. For more information, including access to free resources, visit www.ComcastNBCULIFT.com.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the XFINITY brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,300 companies with a market cap of $13.9 billion. www.techstars.com