Turner's Media Camp was one of the first big entertainment incubators. Founded by Balaji Gopinath, vice president of emerging technology at Turner Broadcasting, it had its coming-out party at South by Southwest in 2012 and hosted its third demo day—pitch day for start-ups to tell their stories to investors—in July.
Gopinath, a college classmate of well-known investors Brad Feld of the Foundry Group and Dave McClure of 500 Startups, said the idea was born long before he started working at Turner. In fact, he only accepted the job with the guarantee he'd be able to launch it under the company's wings.
"A large company, regardless of the industry, can have a tough time breaking away from the day-to-day to figure out what the future really looks like," Gopinath said. "We often have the blinders on, and we don't know how thing are going to unfold. ... We are so insular, in general."
So far, Turner's Media Camp has yielded three companies that were acquired, and Gopinath said "most" of the rest have picked up angel funds or Series A investments.
Socialize, a "drop-in" social platform for apps, was acquired by ShareThis. Matcha, a video-programming recommendation site, was acquired by Apple.
Another Media Camp start-up, Switchcam, attracted the attention of Facebook, which hired its founders. Switchcam was shut down after the founders joined Facebook.