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Verizon, R/GA Launch New York Digital-Media Tech Incubator to Invest up to $1 Million in 10 Startups

Variety logo Variety 3/10/2017 Todd Spangler
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Verizon and digital advertising and design agency R/GA are looking to recruit aggressive young companies that are poised to disrupt digital entertainment and media.

The duo have teamed up to to launch the Verizon Media Tech Venture Studio with R/GA, which is seeking up to 10 growth- and early-stage companies focused on areas including content creation and personalization, VR and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, image recognition, content distribution, interactive advertising and eSports.

Verizon Ventures and R/GA Ventures will jointly invest up to $100,000 in each company accepted into the program. Deal terms will depend in part on the stage of each startup as well as the terms of funding raised previously by each startup, but the companies say they expect to take a 1%-6% equity stake in participating startups.

The incubator will be based at a new space in New York City’s Flatiron district. Companies will be able to directly interact with execs from Verizon, AOL and Verizon Labs, as well as IPG-owned R/GA’s strategic marketing, consulting, branding, design and technology teams. In addition, participants will be able to tap into Verizon and R/GA’s networks of investors, mentors and advertising clients.

The new program “will connect us with emerging startups that are shaping the future of this business,” said John Doherty, Verizon’s SVP of corporate development and head of Verizon Ventures, promising “unparalleled access to resources, technology and intellectual capital that will accelerate their growth.”

Startups must submit applications by May 30, 2017, with the program kicking off on July 31. It will conclude in mid-November with an invite-only demo event, at which each company will have the opportunity to present to investors, industry execs and press. More info on the program is available at verizonventurestudio.com.

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