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Riot co-founder will mentor media startups in Disney Accelerator
Riot co-founder will mentor media startups in Disney Accelerator
February 12, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




The Walt Disney Company is now accepting applications for Disney Accelerator, a program for funding and mentoring developers creating new entertainment products.

Riot Games co-founder Brandon Beck is one of many big names on Disney's list of program mentors, which also includes Disney Interactive president James Pitaro and Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger.

The program is awfully vague about what qualifies as an eligible product -- Disney claims to be seeking "technology-powered startups" with ideas for "products and services in the consumer entertainment and media space," so a game developer with good ideas for a title that might benefit from Disney's money and IP could be a contender.

Ten winners will be selected from the pool of applicants and asked to move to Los Angeles at the end of June, where they will spend three months working in a dedicated Disney workspace with access to IP and mentors from within The Walt Disney Company, including subsidiaries like Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.

The winners will also be awarded $20,000 in funding upon acceptance, with access to an additional $100,000 convertible debt note if they want it. Put very simply, a convertible debt note is basically a loan that the lender may convert into stock in your company in lieu of a cash payback.

It's worth noting that Disney claims any IP developed by a company participating in this program will be retained by the company, and that no contract -- beyond the website's Terms Of Use -- exists between Disney and program applicants, nor is one promised.


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Comments


Michael Joseph
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This sounds more like a consulting & investment program than a mentoring program but marketing speak aside, there's some value in getting to spend 3 months in-house at a Disney development studio (assuming "dedicated Disney workspace" doesn't refer to some random office space next to the Taco Bell.)

I do wonder if after the 20k and 3 months one can just walk away and continue to make their project elsewhere. Obviously they'd lose the ability to use Disney IP but there could also be all sorts of legal complexities where one side is claiming ownership of some of the IP developed. If a "mentor" advises you to do something and you do it, then who owns that? It could be impossible to walk away.


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