What’s in a decade? For Disney Accelerator, it’s innovation, collaboration, and, of course, a touch of magic. Let’s rewind to 2014, where the seeds of this groundbreaking program were planted in perhaps the most Disney way possible — with a secret mission involving a beloved Star Wars character.

When Disney CEO Bob Iger held up his phone and asked, “Can you build this?” he was showing an image of BB-8 to the team at Sphero, a small robotic toy company. As David Min, Disney’s VP of Corporate Innovation, recalls, “They came running out to my office and said, ‘We’re going to build BB-8!’” Sphero, a member of the inaugural class of Disney Accelerator, had no idea this project would turn into one of the most iconic Star Wars toys of all time.

Since then, the Disney Accelerator program has continued to pave the way for technological advancements in storytelling. It carefully selects growth-stage companies to collaborate with Disney executives, combining the best of tech and creative genius to create groundbreaking entertainment experiences. “Disney is a master of storytelling in various forms,” says Bonnie Rosen, General Manager of Disney Accelerator. “The addition of new technologies only fuels this creativity further.”

Fast forward ten years, and the program has seen more than 60 participants, including industry leaders like Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, and Kahoot!, the interactive learning platform. Remember that little project known as Fortnite? Disney’s partnership with Epic has led to monumental collaborations, even influencing Disney’s projects like ESPN Catalyst Stage and various theme park experiences.

From humble beginnings — including companies so fresh they drove straight from graduation to Glendale — to today’s focus on well-established growth companies, Disney Accelerator has evolved but remains committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. The relationships fostered have not only spawned new technologies but also enriched Disney’s storytelling techniques across the board.

The future looks just as bright. David Min hints at expanding the program globally, tapping into new verticals, and chasing emerging trends. Bonnie Rosen sums it up perfectly: “Disney doesn’t do anything by accident. There’s always an eye on building the future.” Here’s to another decade of innovation and magical storytelling!

What’s your favorite Disney Accelerator success story? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to spread the magic by sharing this article! 🚀✨ #DisneyAccelerator #Innovation #Storytelling

[Original Source: The Walt Disney Company]