DreamIt Ventures, the Philadelphia-based accelerator that launched its first New York program last May, has another offering for local startups in the works. The firm recently announced a program called DreamIt Access that will bring five minority-led businesses to each DreamIt Ventures class going forward. The new initiative begins with DreamIt’s summer class in New York City.
A number of notable New York startups have graduated from DreamIt’s program, including SeatGeek, Parse.ly, Postling, Adapt.ly, KeepRecipes, and more. The emphasis on minority-owned business is an attempt to institutionalize a program DreamIt developed in Philadelphia last year when Comcast sponsored five startups as part of special track in DreamIt’s accelerator called the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP).
MEAP was financed with $350,000 from Comcast Ventures, the cable company’s venture capital arm, as part of a $20 million fund which was also used to invest in other minority entrepreneurship initiatives outside DreamIt. Comcast paid for both the direct funding for those five startups (up to $25,000, depending on the number of cofounders), as well as the cost of additional resources, such as desks and supplies, to incubate those five startups.
The firm has yet to name a sponsor for DreamIt Access, but applications for the summer program have been underway since late last year. Managing director William Crowder told Med City News:
“For us, it’s all about finding great people with great ideas and [no] one should be excluded from that,” said Crowder. “It really boils down to networks. Hopefully, programs like this can provide minority-led startups with resources to be as successful as everybody else.”
DreamIt appears to be going meta and accelerating the accelerator. Just last month, the firm announced that it would be going international with DreamIt Israel.