Meet the second class of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator

Eleven startups hailing from four countries kick off the 13-week bizdev program today. One member, Sporttrade, is local.

A PD Shoe prototype. (Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

Full disclosure: Comcast is a major sponsor of Philly Tech Week. That relationship is unrelated to this article.

A final group of 11 companies — including one from Philly — has been selected out of the hundreds of startups from 46 countries that applied to join the second cohort of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars.

Kicking off today, the 13-week accelerator will provide access to mentorship, seed funding and office space at the Comcast Technology Center in Center City to companies hailing from countries including India, Ukraine and Canada, and U.S. cities including Los Angeles, New York and Boulder, Colorado.

“We are incredibly excited by the passion, drive, and foresight of the founders of these companies,” said Comcast Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz in a statement. “The program will provide them with support and access to Comcast NBCUniversal leadership, and help them push their boundaries in new ways to produce more competitive and successful businesses. At the same time, we will learn from some of the best new entrepreneurs in technology.”

The media, entertainment and connectivity startups were picked for their work in one of four areas: smart places, immersive and interactive experiences, digital-first customer engagement and next-gen marketing.

As was the case in the inaugural class, there’s only one Philly company in the accelerator this year: Sporttrade, a peer-to-peer sports betting marketplace founded by Greg Scott, Henry Fuz and Drexel University grad/CEO Alexander Kane.


Here are the other 10 companies selected for the program, with descriptions provided by Comcast:

  • Diana AI (San Francisco) —  A conversational business intelligence and analytics tool that enables non-technical users to access enterprise data and analyze it easily, using natural language via voice or text
  • (Bangalore, India) — Delivers interactive and personalized content to sports fans by applying its AI-powered player recognition engine to live video streams in real time
  • GameOn (Brooklyn) — Increases live sports engagement by turning complicated stats and odds into simple prediction games for the everyday fan
  • (Los Angeles) — An all-in-one podcasting solution for businesses, brands, and individuals to record, edit, and publish unlimited episodes for free
  • NICKL (Brooklyn) — Enables individuals and organizations to personalize and manage their digital content subscriptions in one place
  • Pivan (Boulder) — Provides advanced training and analytics for competitive gaming athletes, powered by computer vision and AI
  • Respeecher (Kiev, Ukraine) — Uses AI technology to transform voices, allowing one person to speak in the voice of another
  • Struct Club (Los Angeles) — Elevates how music-inspired fitness instructors choreograph and deliver classes
  • TakeShape (Brooklyn) — Enables one-click integrations that allow developers to easily combine data from the JAMstack without having to write new code
  • The GIST (Toronto) — Provides sports content, experiences, and community for women

The program will conclude with in a Demo Day on Oct. 10, though the startups are invited to work out of the LIFT Labs space through June 2020.

So, what of last year’s 10 accelerated companies? Comcast reports that eight have since “secured partnerships or pilot programs with Comcast NBCUniversal businesses.”

Philly-based founder Danish Dhamani, CEO of public speaking app Orai, told in January that having access to the inaugural program’s resources and networking opportunities proved valuable, thanks to a combination of resources for scaling with the mentoring and leadership skills to make it happen.

Demo day was like pushing us out to the real world,” said Dhamani, a Drexel grad who cofounded the company alongside CTO and cofounder Paritosh Gupta. “It opened the doors to investors and potential customers, and geared us up to scale 10X right after that.”

Companies: Techstars, Comcast
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