Disney Is Launching Its Own Startup Accelerator, With Help From Techstars

Eddie DaRoza:

Mickey Mouse and Tech. WIN.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The Walt Disney Company is getting into the startup incubator business with the launch of a new program called the Disney Accelerator .

Disney says it’s looking for 10 “early-stage companies with innovative consumer media and entertainment product ideas.” Those startups will receive a $120,000 investment and mentorship from the tech and entertainment industries, as well as from leaders in various Disney divisions (including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ESPN, and Walt Disney Imagineering), not to mention Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The company describes the program as “powered by Techstars.” (Other companies that have partnered with Techstars for their own startup accelerators include Barclays, Microsoft, and Sprint.) Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president of corporate development, told me via email that the organizations are “working hand in hand” with Techstars bringing its accelerator experience and Disney offering its executives, intellectual property, and other resources.

I asked Mayer whether the…

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New Media Incubators Suck. Let’s Try And Fix Them.

start ups los angelesAccording to Represent.la  there are currently 36 co-working facilities in the Los Angeles area. They of course provide some good services, but I still think most of them suck for new media.

Co-working and incubator programs basically hatched out of tech meccas like San Francisco and New York. They began as rooms for coders to collaborate and gain access to VCs and experienced entrepreneurs. For some reason the success that tech startups found isn’t translating to new media. (When I say ‘new media’ I am talking about content creation, distribution, and monetization. I know there is a ton of argument in what is defined there, but that’s for another time.)

New media start ups aren’t going to find success in the same environment as a group of coders. Let’s use an analogy of a school. A school is made of buildings, but no one will say that buildings define the school. What defines the school is the books in libraries, desks in classrooms, and tools for students and teachers to do their thing – collaborate and learn with each other.

I want a co-working spot with cameras inside. I want a co-working spot with production equipment. I want the right group of start-ups that can collaborate on creating content and distributing it using new and innovative mediums. Why isn’t an e-commerce company working out of film studio? Next to an app design firm. Wouldn’t the right group of start-ups excel in a situation like that one? I believe so. Thoughts?

Clique – The Group Photo App That Will Cause Trouble

Clique

Clique

Disappearing media is awesome because, duh, it’s more fun and worry free.

What Snapchat has discovered others have taken notice, and one of cool apps. on the way is Clique. It’s a group photo app where images disappear after a few seconds. The fun part of Clique is no one in the group can see who sends what. It’s anonymous. The app comes from Viddy founders and is on the way. Read a first review here.

Digg Video Launches And An Experiment In Curation Begins

Digg just launched ‘Digg Video,‘ a page of popular videos curated into a channel by the Digg editorial staff.

Digg Video Launches

Digg Video Launches

It’s a mix of informative videos and entertaining riff raff from around the web. In a nut shell the site is made from ‘super digged’ and editorial curated viral videos. It’s another experiment by another website to find a video viewing experience that clicks with the crowd.

At Reddit TV the videos are just the most thumbs upped by the community. I just got lost watching Reddit TV and that’s probably a good thing. According to Reddit the average viewer watches for about a half hour. They have one of the best communities on the internet though, and it’s hard to replicate.

At my former employer BiteSize TV they are trying to create all the content, throw it into topical channels, and have the viewer kick back and watch.

At the end of the day the right model depends on what the view demographic wants. I imagine a model that will develop when the audience has grown up with social and mobile viewership. Maybe content created by anyone, voted up or down and played through a non-stop streaming channel that is distributed in an app and website.

That model will probably have to integrate Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, Snapchat, or wherever the crowd is hanging out at the moment.

Medium blogging

‘Medium’ Breathes Some Fresh Air Into Blogging

Blogging has felt so blasé since Twitter hit the town. Tweeting is just so quick and easy and that’s how we all like it, right? So it makes sense that the most interesting blogging platform to come along in years has been released by a Twitter founder.

Medium is light weight, easy to use, blogging platform that groups posts around topics. If you’re into photography, well I’m sure you’ll be checking out the Click The Shutter collection.

Here’s the New Media collection.

And here’s Static Static add us as a friend, friend.

silicon beach startups

Silicon Beach Is Finally Finding It’s Stride

Los Angeles has a lot of stuff. Good weather, pretty girls and fun nights. Also, according to Mayer Eric Garcetti is has 2200 start-ups currently in town and hopefully many more on the way.

But the city is also full of problems that have hurt innovation and growth and it’s entrepreneurial spirit. There’s traffic everywhere which really sucks, because you need to drive everywhere. A business meeting isn’t walking over to 21st Amendment  for a beer like in S.F., it’s driving two hours to meet for 30 minutes.

And Los Angeles isn’t exactly known as a city lacking ego. Instead of an eagerness to collaborate there’s a what-can-you-do-for-me-now-or-get-out-my-face attitude.

But finally, five years after the demise of MySpace, the promise of Silicon Beach is finally becoming a reality.

This week the L.A. Weekly had a cover story about Snapchat, the Venice Beach darling that just raised a round at an $800m valuation. They mention how a SnapChat founder moved to Venice from Palo Alto because in the Bay Area “everyone is trying to pitch an app.” And he’s right – they are.

If you opened the New York Times last weekend you might have read a feature on Chris DeWolfe – that guy from MySpace – who was quoted as saying:

“I think the substance is just beginning to catch up with the hype. The ecosystem here needs to coalesce more, and geographically, that’s difficult. It’s spread out with a tech center in Pasadena, one in Santa Monica, Culver City. It’s not a two-minute walk down the street to get to these places.”

Do we see a trend taking place here? Well if not, how about this one from the Santa Monica Mirror titled “The Temperature Is Rising In Silicon Beach”. It drops the news on BeGreatPartners is opening nine accelerators around L.A.

Now I don’t know if L.A. needs nine new accelerators that are all doing basically the same thing but one thing is certain: the community is gaining momentum. A trend a beginning. And it’s in the early innings.