Demo Day of Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, Showcases 10 Companies in Inaugural Class

Philadelphia-based accelerator focused on media, entertainment, and
connectivity ends with live pitch event, including major company

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ten tech startups from around the world who are building innovative
media, entertainment, and connectivity companies showcased their
products and stories on Thursday at “Demo Day,” the finale of the
inaugural Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by

A founder from each company took center stage at The Franklin Institute
and pitched their business to hundreds of investors, mentors, Comcast
NBCUniversal team members, and Philadelphia’s tech and startup
community, while a global audience watched online via livestream.

During the 13-week accelerator program, the 10 companies worked with
more than 50 mentors across Comcast NBCUniversal, including Comcast
Cable Chief Business Development Officer Sam Schwartz; Senior Vice
President of Strategy & Business Development for Universal Pictures Pank
Patel; and NBC President of Digital Enterprises Maggie Suniewick to
refine and test their business models.

Mentors that engaged with the startups also included executives from the
NBC broadcast and cable networks, Universal Studios, Universal Theme
Parks, DreamWorks, Comcast Business, Strategic Development, Comcast
Ventures, LIFT Labs, and the teams that build XFINITY products and
services. Comcast NBCUniversal mentors joined an esteemed Techstars
community that includes over 75 mentors who have deep industry,
investment, and entrepreneurship experience.

It was announced during Demo Day that many of the startups landed pilot
projects during their time in the accelerator, and others are in the
works. As of Demo Day, three of the companies are maintaining a presence
in Philadelphia after the program, where Comcast NBCUniversal is

In the last 13 weeks, the companies learned from more than a dozen talks
from founders of companies, multiple media trainings, and hundreds of
business meetings. They also recently visited NBCUniversal headquarters
at 30 Rock to meet with executives and participate in practice
interviews with CNBC Squawk on the Street, TODAY, NBC Nightly News, and
Your Business with JJ Ramberg.

“We were inspired by the spirit and creativity of these companies as
they were building their businesses,” said Schwartz. “For our
executives, it was an exciting opportunity to mentor and learn alongside
them. There are many collaboration stories, and we hope this is just the
beginning of what’s to come. Some of the founders will continue to build
successful companies alongside us, in our hometown of Philadelphia, and
in other cities around the globe.”

“Having worked closely with these 10 companies, I’ve been inspired by
how they have considerably evolved over a short period of time. I’m
eager to watch them continue to grow and collectively unfold the future
of how media will be defined, how it will be consumed, and how it will
bring us together,” said Techstars Managing Director Maya Baratz. “Now a
part of the Techstars network, I also look forward to watching them
expand this core network that helps entrepreneurs succeed as they scale
their companies.”

Notable advancements from the last 13 weeks showcased by the startups at
Demo Day included:

Austin, TX: alive5 offers the easiest way for small-to-medium-sized
businesses to engage customers and accept payments on any digital
messaging channel. The company supports over 800 customers, including
200 of the top pro and college sports teams, major hotel brands and
Comcast Spectacor. alive5 is now partnering with Spectra Venue
Management, which manages hundreds of venues throughout North America,
to pilot alive5’s messaging and concierge services.

US and Munich, Germany: eyecandylab enables video content creators to
engage their viewers and monetize their media through interactive
augmented reality experiences. After an initial launch in Germany with a
major media company that resulted in 365k downloads and a #1 rank in the
App store, eyecandylab debuted in the US successfully with Nickelodeon.

Philadelphia: Orai is an artificial intelligence speech coach that helps
people become more effective and confident communicators. With 100k
users and counting, Orai is now the #1 public speaking app in the App
store. The company has solidified a channel partnership with Mandel
Communications, and has enterprise customers including Comcast and

New York City and Seoul, South Korea: Pium allows you to experience a
variety of mood-boosting scents throughout your day with one connected
device and a subscription-based scent platform. The company has plans to
partner with Universal Parks and Resorts and Loews Hotels to offer a
sneak peek of the product to hotel guests.

Los Angeles, CA: Polycade turns video games into in-person social events
with an engaging, connected arcade console and a curated, digital gaming
platform. After successfully raising $120k above a $20k ask on
Kickstarter, the company reached over $750,000 in sales, without any
marketing. Their active pilot customers include WeWork, Grubhub, and
Comcast Business.

, Toronto: Portl is the personalized entertainment platform for
rideshare vehicles today and autonomous vehicles tomorrow. After an
initial test in Toronto that drove 89% user engagement, the company has
signed content and advertising deals with partners including Vice and
Nestle and will soon be piloting in cities in the US, including
Philadelphia. Portl also negotiated a deal with a major telco provider
to activate hundreds of thousands of tablets on the telco’s network
nationwide through 2023.

, Toronto, Canada: Tally empowers content creators to
make and host their own live, interactive shows. On average, people
spend 95 minutes watching gaming livestreams on Twitch for every 3.5
minutes watching non-gaming livestreams. Tally bridges this gap; 9 out
of 10 viewers interact with shows on Tally and, on average, viewers
engage twice every minute with no monetary incentive.

Los Angeles, CA: Thinker-Tinker transforms kids’ screen time to quality,
active play time with a character-based learning platform that blends
traditional tactile play and digital interaction. After a successful
Kickstarter campaign, Thinker-Tinker is taking on an exciting and unique
opportunity to partner with Universal on a licensing arrangement that
combines its play platform with a variety of DreamWorks iconic
characters, including those from classic films like Shrek and Kung
Fu Panda
 as well as favorite characters from some of DreamWorks’
latest theatrical and future animated series, including Trolls,
Spirit Riding Free and DreamWorks Dragons.

New York, NY: Trapica leverages artificial intelligence to optimize
targeting decisions in advertising campaigns as they run, allowing
marketers to reach the right audiences at the exact time they are ready
to convert. Using their product, their customers have saved up to 70%
off their conversion cost and increased their ROI by 300%. In the last 6
months, Trapica has grown in revenue by 25% month-over-month, and has
recently added some of the biggest advertisers as clients, ranging from
Universal Studios to Dirty Lemon.

Singapore: WiARframe empowers anyone to prototype and share augmented
reality experiences in minutes. While it is widely held that AR has the
potential to be even bigger than the web, currently only people with
deep technical knowledge can design for it. WiARframe changes that. Now
notable media companies, including SYFY, and leading agencies including
Huge, EON Reality and Nexus Studios are gearing up to use WiARframe for
their next AR projects.

Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs will begin accepting applications for its
second accelerator class, run in partnership with Techstars, scheduled
to begin next July in Philadelphia. Founders from around the world who
are serious about developing the next generation of media, entertainment
and connectivity companies are encouraged to apply starting in January
2019 by visiting

Comcast has a long history of supporting startup communities and LIFT
Labs is just one of the many ways in which entrepreneurs can gain
valuable access and insights to Comcast NBCUniversal. Comcast launched
its first venture arm in 1999, and in 2010, Comcast Ventures was formed
and has since grown into one of the most active corporate venture arms
in the country. LIFT Labs, with its first location in the new Comcast
Technology Center opening later this year, offers programmed talks,
mentor sessions with Comcast NBCUniversal employees and partners, plus
events and other educational resources designed to help entrepreneurs
launch and grow their businesses. For more information, including access
to free resources, visit
or follow @LIFT_Labs on Twitter.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology
company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal.
Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet,
and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand,
and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides
wireless and security and automation services to residential customers
under the XFINITY brand. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and
sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks,
television production operations, television station groups, Universal
Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit
for more information.

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed.
Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors,
alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their
companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup
Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and
Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator
portfolio includes more than 1,600 companies with a market cap of $16.1


Comcast Corporation
Katie Lubenow, 215-286-5691
Kindblade, 303-562-6230