This evening in Philadelphia, Comcast NBCUniversal's Lift Labs Accelerator unveiled the eleven companies in its second grade on a demo day to investors and the local tech community. The event was the final of the 13-week program, during which each startup partnered with Techstars bank of industry experts and Comcast brands, including Xfinity, NBC, Telemundo, NBC Sports, Universal Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Comcast Business, Comcast Ventures , and Sky.
While not every startup has completed a proof of concept or a pilot with Comcast, eight out of eleven said it did. And one company, NICKL, said it would relocate its headquarters to Philadelphia.
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One of the main participants in this year's cohort was Diana AI, Developed a conversational business intelligence tool that enables users to analyze business data using speech or text. During the Accelerator, founders Geeta Banda and Teja Nanduri won their first paying customers and closed six new corporate customers, including Comcast. Diana AI Edisn.ai offers a platform that generates personalized sports content in real time from live video streams with AI. Ashok Karanth, Akshay Chandrasekhar and the team have launched a pilot to provide interactive content for football matches with Comcast's Watchwith Xfinity platform. In addition, they launched pilot discussions with NBC10, Universal Pictures and Telemundo62 in Philadelphia to develop sports, news and entertainment programs for competitive athletes. They partnered with T1 Entertainment & Sports of Comcast Spectacor to develop a set of data-driven tools. And they're discussing a future partnership with the Philadelphia Fusion (a team that participates in Blizzard's Overwatch) involving the newly announced Fusion Arena.
Last but not least, Respeecher, whose technology transforms natural-language voices so that one person can imitate another person's voice. (It is similar to Lyrebird recently acquired in Montreal.) Founders Oleksandr Serdiuk, Grant Reaber, and Dmytro Bielievtsov have dramatically improved the efficiency of their product during the accelerator program. (Language conversion now takes five times less time.) At the same time, relationships have been established with partners covering more than 75% of US entertainment funds and over 40% of the audiobook market.
"It was a fantastic experience All mentors at Comcast NBCUniversal have to work side by side with these dynamic companies to grow and start their businesses," said Sam Schwartz, Comcast Cable's Chief Business Development Officer. "The founders of these promising startups have an incredible passion and enthusiasm and we're so excited to see what's next for them."
The Lift Labs Accelerator will receive applications for its third grade in January 2020, according to Comcast in July 2020 start in Philadelphia.