3D Printed Dolls And Jedi Mind Control Devices: A Look At Disney’s Second Accelerator Batch

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The first batch of startups in Disney’s startup accelerator produced successes like the bb-8 droid from Sphero and Naritiv, a marketing platform currently focused on Snapchat.

Sphero produced the BB-8 droid in anticipation of the upcoming Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. But it was a fated meeting with Disney CEO Bob Iger that gave the Sphero robotics team an idea to create the toy droid. We can now buy the remote controlled BB-8 at stores like Best Buy and Amazon.

The accelerator is now in its sophomore year and the hope is this next batch adds a bit of Disney magic of its own. Some of the startups include MakieLab, which creates custom 3D printed dolls, LittleStar, a virtual reality content aggregator, and Emotiv, a Jedi-like headset that lets you move objects with your mind.

The accelerator program partners with Techstars to offer each startup a three-month mentorship and some seed money of $120,000. We chatted with Techstars managing director Cody Simms, Disney chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer and several of the startups in the latest batch at Disney’s accelerator headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

Check out the video above to see what Disney’s second accelerator batch is made of.

Correction: The original report mentioned Target as a retailer for Sphero’s BB-8. Though the BB-8 remote controlled robot at Target looks similar, that version is made by Hasbro.