Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs Accelerator powered by Techstars has opened applications to its fourth annual biz-building program for tech startups.
The accelerator will begin its 13 weeks of mentorship and programming in August and conclude with a demo day in November. As with previous cohorts, accepted startups will receive seed funding up to $120,000 per team in exchange for 6 to 10% equity. Whether the cohort will be able to work in-person at Comcast HQ will depend on local COVID-19 regulations, a spokesperson said; currently, only essential Comcast employees are working in person.
This year’s cohort will consist of startups working in connected living, “next gen” entertainment, future of work and personalized experiences. Selected entrepreneurs will benefit from mentors working at Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, includig Xfinity and DreamWorks Animation, as well as Techstars’ network of professionals.
“With the fourth class of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, we will continue our company’s long-standing tradition of supporting startups on their journeys,” said Comcast Cable SVP of Growth Development Emily Waldorf in a statement. “Employees from across Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky work directly with founders to provide mentorship and advice, and in turn we have the opportunity to learn from this next generation of innovators and problem solvers.”
Last year’s all-virtual cohort focused on advanced connectivity, future of work, interactive and immersive experiences and personalized experiences. Three local companies were included: retail security AI startup Percepta, workplace culture marketplace Seshie and anti-cyberbullying AI startup Kidas. Since the accelerator launched, 32 startups from around the world have participated, and three-quarters have secured pilots or agreements with a Comcast NBCUniversal division or business unit, the company said. (Bonus read: LIFT Labs head Danielle Cohn and 2019 accelerator graduate Molly Beck on what corporates and startups can learn from each other.)
Interested founders have until May 12 to apply for the 2021 accelerator. Read more about the areas of focus and how to apply on LIFT Labs’ website.
Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.