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Disney Wants to Invest in Your Startup

The deal: 10 companies, up to $120,000 each, and a summer in LA.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Okay, startups. What do you want from one of the biggest media companies in the world: Money, advice or a foot in the door?

Walt Disney wants to offer all of the above, via an “accelerator” program it is launching with Techstars this summer. The basics: Disney and Techstars will invest up to $120,000* in each of 10 startups, and offer access to a slew of Disney’s top executives, including CEO Bob Iger.

At this point in the tech startup cycle, accelerators are old news, and accelerators backed by Very Big Companies are not novel, either. Disney’s rivals at Time Warner, for instance, have their own version of one, for the company’s Turner Broadcasting unit.

But there’s certainly no harm for Disney in trying this out — it could use some tech help, particularly in its games group — and for a certain kind of media-centric startup, this might make sense, too. More details here.

* The money breaks down this way: Each startup will get $20,000 in equity, and can take up to $100,000 more in convertible debt. Techstars and Disney are splitting the investments.

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