By Kevin Cummings
Beating out hundreds of applicants from across the country, a North Texas startup has been selected to join the newest cohort of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator.
Joining 10 other startups, Dallas-based Pan-African media streaming startup AfroLandTV will be part of the third cohort for the Techstars-powered accelerator program.
“The entire Comcast NBCUniversal family is excited to learn from this diverse group of talented entrepreneurs, and help elevate their companies in new ways,” said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer at Comcast, in a statement.
The 13-week accelerator program, which kicked off Wednesday, focuses on startups working in connectivity, media and entertainment. The program includes mentorship and product development expertise through Comcast NBCUniversal’s and Techstars’ network of leaders. It will also include workshops on fundraising and communicating through the media.
Due to the pandemic, the accelerator has taken its programing online. And this year, the accelerator said it has focused on diversity and inclusion, with more than half of the companies having founders that self-identify as underrepresented or female.
AfroLandTV was founded in 2018 and launched its streaming service platform earlier this year, which has a curated selection of TV and movie content that spans the African diaspora, from Africa to the Caribbean to the Afro-Latinx community. The launch of the service comes as demand for streaming content has risen amid the pandemic.
The startup, created by CEO Michael Maponga, was part of the Tech Wildcatters 2019 cohort and landed $160,000 in seed funding from the Dallas based accelerator. AfroLandTV was also one of five startups to receive investment through Dallas Cowboys linebacker and entrepreneur Jaylon Smith’s inaugural Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Texas Showcase pitch event in July.
“Entrepreneurial passion is more important than ever. Curiosity and different thinking can help society and businesses emerge to what’s next — and we’re ready to start working with these companies focused on areas that are important to our company and customers,” Schwartz said.
Check out the other startups joining the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator below (descriptions are provided by Comcast NBCUniversal).
Beam Health Group (New York) – Beam Health empowers health care professionals and health systems with premium telehealth services to provide quality, convenient care to patients.
Cast (San Francisco) – Cast’s automated audio-visual reports with embedded call to action helps customers understand complex concepts and drive high-value actions.
Covatic (London/Birmingham) – Covatic’s mobile SDK empowers media companies to deliver exceptional in-app experiences by identifying when, where and how each individual can engage with content without needing to expose personal data.
Glow Up Games (Brooklyn) – Glow Up Games develops and publishes character-driven mobile games for underrepresented gamers and gathers key data on this overlooked demographic to encourage more diverse characters and storylines in the gaming industry.
Introvoke (San Francisco) – Introvoke provides white label technology that powers virtual connections, hybrid live events and elevated networking in a branded experience.
Kidas (Philadelphia) – Kidas is an AI service that protects children from cyberbullying and online predators by alerting parents about potentially dangerous activities in their childs’ digital life.
Percepta (Philadelphia) – Percepta leverages unbiased, AI-driven computer vision technology to analyze existing security camera feeds and alert employees of shoplifting incidents in real-time.
Seshie (Philadelphia) – Seshie is a marketplace of expert guides offering live and virtual team building experiences for organizations to increase employee morale and build company culture.
Showcase (New York) – Showcase is a video-first hiring platform that uses asynchronous videos to help companies streamline the recruitment process by eliminating repetitive interviews.
WorkChew (Washington, D.C.) – WorkChew is a marketplace connecting a community of mobile and remote workers to workspaces in restaurants and hotels across the US and beyond.