Walt Disney Co. announced last week that e-sports startup aXiomatic was one of 11 companies chosen to participate in this year’s Disney Accelerator program.
Mid-Wilshire’s aXiomatic was formed last fall and is backed by an ownership group that includes Golden State Warriors co-owner and Mandalay Entertainment Group Chief Executive Peter Guber. The company owns Culver City e-sports outfit Team Liquid, whose players compete in video-game tournaments (see story on page 8).
AXiomatic Chief Executive Bruce Stein said in October that the company was making a long-term bet on e-sports. The company’s investors include Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, AOL founder Steve Case, Los Angeles Lakers executive Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and an array of executives from the Dodgers, Mandalay, and other sports and entertainment businesses. The ownership group invested a total of $16.5 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document filed in June.
“We don’t know where the revenue channels will ultimately develop,” Stein said in October. “It’s as exciting field as I have seen since probably the original dot-com boom.”
Disney did not say what types of projects the companies would collaborate on together during the accelerator, which began in June and will run to October. The Burbank media giant launched the accelerator in 2014 as a way to fund innovative companies, find business synergies and offer mentorship opportunities.
Previous participants include Sphero, which created an app-enabled toy based on BB-8, a robot in Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
“This year, more than ever, we are working with companies with the potential to help define the future of media and entertainment together with Disney,” said Michael Abrams, a senior vice president at Disney, in a statement.
Disney and aXiomatic did not respond to requests for additional comment.
– Henry Meier
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