Comcast NBCUniversal is getting into the startup accelerator game with a program called LIFT Labs for Entrepreneurs.
The plan is to launch the first LIFT (“Leveraging Innovation For Tomorrow”) Labs location in early 2018, in Philadelphia’s Comcast Technology Center, with an Atlanta location also opening next year. In addition to the accelerator (which will be run in partnership with Techstars), LIFT Labs will also include an entrepreneurs’ resource center.
Comcast isn’t the first media company to create this kind of program for startups — Turner shut down its Media Camp in 2014, while Disney also launched an accelerator with help from Techstars (the program is now run entirely in-house).
A Comcast spokesperson described LIFT Labs as a collaboration between Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal (they’re both under the Comcast corporate umbrella) and said it will target startups in media, entertainment and connectivity.
“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, Comcast Cable’s chief business development officer, in a press release. “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.”
Applications for the first LIFT Labs accelerator will open on January 8 next year.