Startups

Philly Startups: It’s Time to Apply for Comcast’s Lift Labs Accelerator

The competitive program, now in its second year, will accept up to 12 startups. The application period is now officially open.


LIFT Labs Demo Day. Courtesy photo.

It’s that time again: Comcast NBCUniversal’s Lift Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is searching for up to twelve startups that will make up its 2019 cohort. The company opened up the application period on Monday.

The 13-week program will kick off on July 15th this year, and accepted applicants will have access to mentors, custom workshops, training sessions and business meetings, with the new Comcast Technology Center as the program’s base. As in the inaugural year of the program, the entrepreneurs will have access to more than 100 professionals across all of Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including the NBC and Telemundo broadcast teams, DreamWorks, Comcast Business and Comcast Ventures.

The selected startups will also have access to space at Comcast’s Lift Labs in the technology center until June 2020, an option that’s likely to keep the startups grounded in Philly.

Comcast requests that applicants use “innovative technologies” (think: Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain) in this year’s specific focus areas:

  • Smart Places – Empowering people and businesses to seamlessly connect anywhere faster, efficiently, and reliably.
  • Immersive + Interactive Experiences – Engaging users through interactive platforms, connected gaming and other rich entertainment experiences.
  • Digital-First Customer Engagement – Creating and/or enabling personalized customer success solutions and experiences.
  • Next-Gen Marketing – Predicting, shifting, and analyzing customer behaviors to stand out in a crowded digital world.

The program will culminate with a Demo Day in October, where each startup will present their business to Philadelphia’s greater startup community, including investors, tech leaders and fellow entrepreneurs.

“After an incredibly successful inaugural class that resulted in many learnings, pilots, proofs of concepts, and deals, we are thrilled to offer this opportunity to a new group of entrepreneurs and host them in Philadelphia this summer,” said Comcast Cable chief business development officer Sam Schwartz in a statement. “Entrepreneurialism is an important part of our heritage, and we’re excited to continue working side-by-side with startups to push the boundaries of innovation.

Like last year, the program is taking applications from around the world, which means competition will be stiff. Just ten startups, including one with Philly roots, made the cut in 2018. Comcast says 70 percent of the companies landed partnerships with Comcast NBCUniversal businesses as a result of the accelerator. Learn more about last year’s cohort here.

This year’s application period closes on Sunday, April 7th. To learn more about the program and to apply, click here.