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Disney Accelerator Taps Virtual Being Startup Inworld AI for ‘Next-Generation Storytelling’ Cohort

Disney has selected virtual being startup Inworld AI for the 2022 Disney Accelerator program, which the entertainment giant is centering on AI, NFT, and augmented reality technology. Inworld and the rest of the half-dozen companies in the cohort were chosen for how they might contribute to ‘next-generation storytelling,’ which is Disney’s term for Web3 and the interactive and immersive digital worlds of the metaverse.

Disney Inworld

Inworld develops interactive characters powered by AI useable in the metaverse and other digital spaces. The startup’s Inworld Studio platform is able to generate the AI from user input in just a few minutes, setting a baseline that can change and evolve through conversations with users and engaging with its virtual environment. Inworld was in stealth until late last year, and has raised close to $20 million in venture funding, including a $10 million strategic funding round in March. At the Disney accelerator, Inworld will work with an executive mentor and connect with Disney senior leadership to discuss ways to apply Inworld’s services to Disney and where Disney can be a partner for Inworld, concluding with a Demo Day in the fall at Walt Disney Studios in California.

“For nearly a century, Disney has been at the forefront of leveraging technology to build the entertainment experiences of the future,” Disney Accelerator program general manager Bonnie Rosen said. “The Disney Accelerator is thrilled to be part of that legacy, and with our newest class of companies, we look forward to furthering our commitment to innovation and continuing to bring magical experiences to Disney audiences and guests for the next 100 years.”

The other members of Inworld’s cohort cover a broad array of related and adjacent technology. They include social app Flickplay, which connects NFTS to the real world with augmented reality, immersive experience provider Lockerverse, three-dimensional metaverse e-commerce platform Obsess, scalable blockchain network Polygon, and augmented reality hardware and interface developer Red 6. The potential value of relationships with the cohort for Disney is obvious. That’s particularly true with Inworld since Disney has begun experimenting with interactive AI and has a giant catalog of characters it could use to populate the metaverse. and immersive AI is clear.

“I’ve long believed that interactions, memories, and connections formed in immersive worlds can become as real as those formed in real life. It’s why I’m excited about being named a Disney Accelerator company,” Inworld AI CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn wrote in a LinkedIn post about the accelerator. “Our platform for creating memorable, AI-powered characters will unlock new opportunities for creators in entertainment, gaming, the metaverse, and other digital realms who are ready to create memories like mine.”


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