As announced today, U.S-based media and entertainment behemoth Comcast NBCUniversal is now also dipping its toes in the startup ecosystem with the launch of its first accelerator program called LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs. This initiative will focus on fostering entertainment, media, and connectivity startups that could also possibly add value to their own business in the coming years.
LIFT (or Leveraging Innovation for Tomorrow) Labs is a multi-location program that will first pop up in Philadelphia at the Comcast Technology Center next to the company’s headquarters, opening in early 2018. It will open a second accelerator in Atlanta later next year. Though exact details of the accelerators are bleak but Comcast says that an important element of these would be entrepreneurs’ resource center.
Though exact details of the accelerators are bleak but Comcast says that an important element of these would be their entrepreneurs’ resource center. It will enable selected startups to gain mentorship from Comcast NBCUniversal innovators and third-party partners. The accelerator will also enable the entrepreneurs to gain knowledge of the market through an online or in-person session.
Talking about this initiative, Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable says,
Comcast was a startup more than 50 years ago in the Philadelphia region, and we understand the importance of entrepreneurialism to help drive growth, innovation, and the economy. We are excited to work alongside and learn from some of the best entrepreneurs while offering access to our experienced innovators to help them grow their businesses and take them to the next level.
To set up their first-ever accelerator, the media company has taken extensive input from over 1,500 entrepreneurs across the globe. It has, thus, partnered with Techstars, a worldwide entrepreneur network to power its first location. This organization is known to help startups and entrepreneurs build their business through access to mentorship and capital. Thus, David Brown, co-founder and co-CEO of Techstars also comments on this initiative:
Together with Comcast NBCUniversal, we believe we can be a catalyst for groundbreaking new technologies. We are impressed by the 360-degree approach Comcast is taking to work with startups and are also excited to bring our global expertise in startup acceleration to Philadelphia, an innovation city we’ve been watching closely for some time.
The details, as well as applications for the first accelerator programme will be made available on January 8, 2018. Startups from across the globe will have until April 8 to apply for LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs. Also, an interesting fact, NBCUniversal has recently pushed a massive $500 million investment into Snap, announced a day post its IPO listing on the stock market.