Comcast NBCUniversal announces accelerator program for entrepreneurs
Comcast NBCUniversal has announced LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs, a multi-city program that will focus on assisting startups with new innovations in media, entertainment and connectivity. It will be comprised of a variety of programs offered online and in person, including a startup accelerator, entrepreneurs’ resource center and programs on how to bring their innovations to market.
LIFT stands for “Leveraging Innovation For Tomorrow” and builds on the spirit of entrepreneurship created by Comcast’s founder, Ralph Roberts, who was a pioneer in the cable industry.
The flagship location will be called LIFT Labs PHL and will be in the new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia when it opens in early 2018. A second LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs program in Atlanta will launch in 2018 with additional details, including its accelerator partner, to be announced soon.
“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,” said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer, Comcast Cable.
“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.”
The creation of LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs was inspired by extensive input from more than 1,500 entrepreneurs across the U.S. and abroad. One of the key elements of LIFT Labs PHL will be an accelerator powered by Techstars, a worldwide entrepreneur network that supports entrepreneurs through access to mentorship and capital. Techstars accelerator companies have raised $3 billion with a portfolio market cap of $7.8 billion.
This will be Techstars’ first accelerator in Philadelphia. The accelerator details and applications will be made available Jan. 8, 2018, and startups from around the globe are encouraged to apply by April 8, 2018.
“Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. Together with Comcast NBCUniversal, we believe we can be a catalyst for groundbreaking new technologies,” said David Brown, co-founder and co-CEO of Techstars. “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.”
Another important component of LIFT Labs will be the entrepreneurs’ resource center that will provide resources for startups at all stages. Resources will include mentorship from Comcast NBCUniversal innovators and third-party partners. LIFT Labs will complement many partners’ existing startup education and resources available at the national and local level.