Disney’s partnership with robotics startup Sphero epitomizes the powerful, results-driven nature of what happens when brands and startups work together to drive innovation.
As you may have heard, Disney put Boulder-based Sphero in charge of designing the BB-8 droid, a robot starring in the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It all started last year, when Sphero joined Disney’s three-month-long accelerator program. As part of the program, Sphero received an investment of $120,000 as well as a Disney executive as a mentor. The mentor assigned to Sphero happened to be Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Now, Sphero — once a tiny, little known startup — is on track to become part of mainstream culture (we bet Sphero could turn out to be a billion-dollar idea). Just last month, Sphero raised an additional $45 million to fund product research and IP development.
“We’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to contribute to culture at a scale we never thought possible,” Sphero Chief Creative Officer Rob Maigret told Business Insider earlier this year.
Here’s why the Sphero-Disney partnership worked and what you can learn from it:
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