The Walt Disney Company to Showcase Several Disney Accelerator Companies at 2018 Demo Day

October 10 Event to Include TED Fireside Chat

ABC News to Live Stream Disney Accelerator Demo Day

BURBANK, Calif.--()--The Walt Disney Company announced the roster of 2018 Disney Accelerator companies that will be presenting at its fifth annual Demo Day tomorrow, October 10. This year’s event will feature talks from a number of Disney Accelerator companies about their visions for the future they are building, along with a TED fireside chat.

Demo Day concludes this year's Disney Accelerator program, which connects select companies from around the world with the creativity, imagination and expertise of Disney and provides them with unique access to Disney's leadership team, mentorship, and support.

“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.”

Speakers at Demo Day will 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, non-profits 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.

TED fireside chat with Fadi Chehadé, a Partner at ABRY Partners, Fadi 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.

Over the last five years, numerous Disney Accelerator companies continue to collaborate with various divisions of the company to bring innovative, industry-leading products to market:

  • littleBits released the Droid Inventor Kit last year, which was the #1 tech toy on Amazon during the holiday season and the Toy Association's 2018 Creative Toy of the Year. This summer, littleBits 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 kit was included on Amazon's 2018 "Top 100 Toys" List in 2018.
  • StatMuse has developed AI-powered voice apps with NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL sports stats, schedules and scores featuring ESPN SportsCenter’s Scott Van Pelt and star athlete voices on all major AI assistant/smart speaker platforms.
  • The VOID and ILMxLAB, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, created Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire: a location-based hyper-reality experience that has been launched in multiple global locations, including Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. The VOID and ILMxLAB recently announced new multi-sensory, fully immersive experiences featuring “Ralph Breaks VR” coming this fall and an adventure from Marvel Studios coming in 2019.
  • Epic Games, developers of Unreal Engine and Fortnite, 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 the Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer streaming service launching late next year.

The Disney Accelerator Demo Day will be live streamed worldwide on and ABC News mobile and OTT apps for Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV on October 10th at 2:30 pm PT. The livestream can be viewed at:

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.

About TED:

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual gathering in Vancouver, Canada, its TEDWomen and TEDGlobal conferences, and at thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world, then made available, free, on and other channels.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; and the educational initiative TED-Ed.


The Walt Disney Company
Mariam Sughayer
Corporate Communications

Release Summary

The Walt Disney Company announced the roster of 2018 Disney Accelerator companies that will be presenting at its fifth annual Demo Day tomorrow.


The Walt Disney Company
Mariam Sughayer
Corporate Communications