Announcing the Companies Participating in the 2018 Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars

We are excited to announce Techstars Class 135 – the 10 companies that will be joining us in Philadelphia for our inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

While they all collectively fall into this program’s overarching media, entertainment and connectivity focus areas, these companies range widely in their angle —from gaming, to augmented reality, to IoT. And their founders, who were selected from a diverse pool of applicants spanning 38 countries, will be joining us from all over the world —from Philadelphia to Singapore.

Starting today, we kick off this Techstars mentorship-driven accelerator program, which will conclude with Demo Day on October 11th. While in Philadelphia, these companies will have access to a curated range of over 140 mentors from both the greater Techstars community — the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed — and from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, film studios, cable networks, Comcast Ventures, and Xfinity products and services. These mentors were hand selected for their unique interest and ability to help these companies grow.

Techstars is proud to have an incredible partner in Comcast NBCUniversal, who we have worked closely with to craft a one-of-a-kind program I am thrilled to share with our companies. This is going to be an amazing year for our program and the Philadelphia startup community!

Here are the companies participating in the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars:

Portl Media

Portl Media is a network of personalized media and entertainment experiences for rideshare vehicles.

Toronto, Canada

Trapica Labs

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.

New York City

Pium

Pium is an IoT-powered platform for a personalized olfactory experience.

New York City

Thinker Tinker

Thinker Tinker creates companions that engage children through an innovative blend of traditional hands-on tactile play and digital interaction.

Los Angeles, CA

Polycade

Polycade is a modern arcade gaming console powered by a platform through which developers can build and sell games.

Los Angeles, CA

Tally Interactive

Tally is a mobile platform for live interactive game shows.

Toronto, Canada

WiARframe

WiARframe is a prototyping tool that allows creatives to effortlessly craft interactive augmented reality content, without any coding, 3D knowledge, or expensive equipment.

Singapore

eyecandylab

Eyecandylab is a platform of immersive, augmented reality experiences for linear TV.

Munich, Germany

Orai

Orai is an artificial intelligence speech coach that helps people improve their public speaking skills with personalized coaching.

Philadelphia, PA

Alive5

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.

Austin, TX

 








Techstars and Comcast NBCUniversal: Elevating Innovative Media, Entertainment and Connectivity Startups

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining Techstars as the Managing Director of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator. This accelerator program will take place in LIFT Labs in the new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia. My mandate is to identify, invest in and support the next breakthrough media, entertainment and connectivity startups.

This new role blends my career experience as a digital product executive with my passion for helping teams bring innovative products to market. Back in 2006, I was a product manager at Flickr, a small and far-from-traditional media company. It was there that I learned first-hand about the byproducts of democratizing content creation and distribution — the pillars that ultimately ushered us into the now-ubiquitous social media era.

Later, as the New Products Lead for the Wall Street Journal, I experienced the opportunities and challenges of developing innovative media distribution methods when I led the team that created WSJ Social, the first standalone publication on Facebook. As the Head of New Products for Disney’s ABC News, I drove  new revenue streams and user experiences and, among other projects, led the creation of a real-time, data-driven, audio-based sentiment tracker for broadcast television, Social Soundtracker.

My experience on both sides of the table — in small, scrappy tech companies and the larger, polished media mainstays — has taught me that a successful future lies in a healthy relationship between the two versus the disruption of one by the other.

I first joined the Techstars family in 2015 as a mentor and immediately fell in love with the process of coaching companies and connecting them to the unique scale opportunities that a bigger, more established company offered. Even after my tenure working with large media companies, I continued to actively advise early-stage companies and connect them to various growth opportunities through my network. Among other things, my homegrown newsletter, Our Little Experiment, has connected a promising startup founder with $100k in funding, placed a CEO with another early-stage company and bridged together entrepreneurs from coast to coast with the opportunities and people that fueled their growth. I look forward to creating more opportunities to further engage my network in this new partnership.

I’m excited to combine Techstars’ proven startup accelerator program with the wisdom of Comcast NBCUniversal’s industry leaders and domain experts. Not only a powerful media and distribution company, Comcast NBCU has been developing technology with people of all demographics and abilities in mind.

When I recently visited their accessibility lab, dedicated to building and applying new technology to real-life and often forgotten use cases— from retina-driven screen navigation to intuitive connected home devices— I was impressed by not only the breadth of their technology stack, but also the acute human focus of it. This rare combination of access to the most influential leaders in media as well as a core, people-centered technology backbone is what gets me excited about our partnership and what will fuel the growth of the most talented teams around the country and the world who join us in Philadelphia. Not only is Philly a burgeoning startup ecosystem with $7B in exit value since 2010, it has an old soul with a heart for producing technological change that makes a difference.

I’m excited to rally the talented people of this combined team to ensure that the companies who join us, from Philadelphia and beyond, will elevate their ideas beyond where they dreamed.

Join us by applying to our program starting in January!








Techstars and Comcast NBCUniversal Partner on LIFT Labs Accelerator in Philadelphia

Techstars is excited to announce Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The accelerator is an essential cornerstone of Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs program and will be based out of LIFT Labs PHL, located in the new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia when it opens in early 2018.

Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. By partnering with Comcast NBCUniversal, we will deliver our proven mentor-driven methodology to support companies focused on new innovations in media, entertainment and connectivity. Comcast NBCUniversal’s vision for supporting startups through LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with Techstars’ focus on building businesses everywhere. We’re excited to bring our worldwide entrepreneurial network to Philadelphia, our 11th U.S. city and 18th global location.

Applications for the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, will open in January 2018. For more information about the program visit ComcastNBCULIFT.com and to receive an update when applications are available, click here. If you have questions about the program, email us at ComcastNBCU@techstars.com.