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Philly startups: Here’s what Comcast’s LIFT Labs Accelerator is offering

The application process for the accelerator, powered by Techstars, is now open to startups from a wider range of verticals than initially announced.

Comcast's Innovation and Technology Center in Center City will house the companies through the 13-week accelerator program. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Kaczmarek)

Listen up, Philly startups (and beyond) the application process to the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is now live.

Companies have until April 18 to toss their hat in the ring for a shot at the 13-week program, which will take place at Comcast’s soaring new Center City tower: the Comcast Technology and Innovation Center.

What’s in it for companies? First off, founders will receive one-on-one mentoring from Techstars’ global network of entrepreneurs and advisors. The companies will get to work directly with experts from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, “including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, film studios, cable networks, and Xfinity products and services,” per a company statement.

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As Techstars co-CEO David Brown told us last year, the 10 or so companies that make the cut will also receive $120,000 in capital, in exchange for 6 percent equity stake in the company going to Techstars.

Of note: Though initially billed as a place for “new innovations in media, entertainment and connectivity,” the verticals for participating startups are now more far-reaching. Here are the descriptions, per Comcast:

  • Connected Life — Empowering users to connect with the people, places and things that matter most.
  • Entertainment Everywhere — Connecting consumers with engaging content in any form, on any device, anywhere.
  • Next Gen Marketing — Transforming marketing and advertising to meet shifting consumer behavior in a digital world.
  • Smart “Cities” — Making physical spaces more intelligent through advanced sensors, devices, and networks.
  • Digital Wellness — Enabling better health care through enhanced content, communication, and connectivity.

“We look forward to bringing some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurs to Philadelphia and working side-by-side with our partners at Techstars, while leveraging Comcast NBCUniversal’s unique set of assets to help take their businesses to the next level,” Comcast Cable Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz said in a statement.

Last fall, the company named Maya Baratz, formerly of Flickr and the Wall Street Journal, as the acclerator’s managing director.

“We are thrilled to pair up Techstars’ proven mentor-driven accelerator program and worldwide network with Comcast’s deep vertical breadth and expertise,” said Baratz. “We believe this unique combination will extend the reach of our ongoing commitment to fueling the growth of the most talented teams around the country and the world who will join us.”

The program will wrap up with a demo day Oct. 11, 2018.

Companies: Techstars / Comcast
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