My favorite entrepreneurial quote is Do Or Do Not, There is No Try. So it’s especially delightful to be able to announce the Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and based in Los Angeles.
David Cohen’s (Techstars CEO) post Announcing Disney Accelerator has more details about how it works, but the gang at Disney that has engaged on this is pretty awesome and goes all the way to the top with Chairman / CEO Bob Iger.
It’s also Techstars first program in Los Angeles. We collectively love LA and have worked with a lot of folks to help with the startup community there. We hope the Disney Accelerator will be another great addition to the ecosystem there.
In the mean time, just remember what Yoda says.
Congrats to all my friends at Kerpoof – it was announced a few weeks ago that Kerpoof was acquired by Disney. Krista Marks – the CEO and co-founder – emailed me the Kerpoof mouse ears photo which inspired me to blog about them. It’s another great example of a local Boulder software / Internet company that had a passion, made something happen, and had a great exit.
I met Krista and her co-founders at a CSIA event and then again while they were gearing up for the 2007 TechCrunch 40. I gave them feedback on their presentation, started playing around with Kerpoof, and decided that Krista was a star. They weren’t raising money at the time (they were self funded through consulting work they were doing while building out their service) so I gave them feedback whenever they asked and stayed close to them. I encouraged Krista to have Kerpoof join the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado – which they did.
Last spring, Krista told me they had been approached by a large company that was interested in acquiring them. She was looking for advice – both business and legal – on the deal. I connected her with Mike Platt at Cooley – one of the best entrepreneurial M&A lawyers I’ve worked with. I also provided friendly feedback to Krista and her partners during the process. Mike turned out to be the perfect fit for them as a deal lawyer and helped them navigate an extended negotiation very gracefully.
The acquisition closed last fall, but Disney and Kerpoof wanted to do some integration before announcing it. I’m glad the news is out – Krista can now wear her Mickey Mouse ears and PJ’s in public. And I especially appreciate Kerpoof’s contributions – through the Entrepreneurs Foundation – to several local organizations, including the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Oh – and keep being innovators!