AI, AR and IoT: Comcast announces Lift Labs Accelerator startups

Comcast announces accelerator programme. The inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator has chosen ten startups to join a 13-week programme in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia-based accelerator that focuses on media, entertainment, and connectivity attracted hundreds of applications globally. Now Comcast NBCUniversal has announced the ten startups which have been chosen for the first Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

The startups have arrived at Comcast NBCUniversal’s global headquarters in Philadelphia for the 13-week programme.

The entrepreneurs will now refine and test their ideas. They will also receive mentoring from a wide range of experts across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses. These include the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks alongside film studios, cable networks, Comcast Ventures, and Xfinity products and services. Techstars’ mentors offer industry, investment, and entrepreneurship experience.

“We are thrilled with the interest in our first accelerator in partnership with Techstars as evidenced by the hundreds of applications from a diverse pool of startups from around the world,” said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast. “We are excited to mentor and collaborate with these innovative companies who are experimenting in interesting areas related to our business.”

AI, AR, mobile and IoT

Applicants have chosen to work in five areas: Connected Life, Entertainment Everywhere, Next Gen Marketing, Smart Places, and Digital Wellness.

Startups include AI, AR, IoT and mobile applications

The successful startups are:

  • alive5 from Austin, TX. Provides businesses with PCI-compliant chat software. This helps them to engage and accept payments from customers via website, social media accounts, and text.
  • eyecandylab from Munich, Germany. A platform of immersive, AR experiences for linear TV.
  • Orai from Philadelphia, PA. An AI speech coach, helping people improve public speaking skills via personalized coaching.
  • Pium from New York City and Seoul, South Korea. An IoT-powered platform that offers personalized natural scents based on users’ behaviour and location.
  • Polycade from Los Angeles, CA. A modern arcade gaming console that is powered by a platform via which developers can build and sell games.
  • Portl Media from Toronto, Canada. A network of personalized media and entertainment experiences aimed at rideshare vehicles.
  • Tally Interactive, from Toronto, Canada. Tally offers a mobile platform for live interactive game shows.
  • Thinker Tinker from Los Angeles, CA. Creating companions that interact with children through a mix of traditional hands-on play and digital interaction.
  • Trapica Labs from New York, NY. Trapica lets social media marketing campaigns reach the right audiences at the perfect time. Its AI algorithm autonomously optimises targeting decisions in real time.
  • WiARframe from Singapore. A prototyping tool that lets creatives effortlessly craft interactive AR content, without the need for coding, 3D knowledge, or expensive equipment.

“We are excited to offer our ten selected companies this one-of-a-kind programme, which pairs up Techstars’ proven mentorship-driven accelerator with Comcast NBCUniversal’s deep industry expertise,” said Maya Baratz, Managing Director of Techstars. “This is going to be an amazing year for our program and the Philadelphia startup community!”

The new accelerator follows in the footsteps of Disney, who launched their own accelerator programme back in 2014.

The last intake on the programme clearly highlighted Disney’s current interests – targeting specific audience segments, eSports, location-personalised content, robotics and VR.

The Comcast programme gives a similar insight into where Universal’s interests lie in terms of the future of attractions technology, with AI, IoT, AR and mobile platforms high on the agenda.