Venture Capital

DreamIt Ventures Launches Accelerator Program In Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA.

DreamIt Ventures, one of the world's premiere accelerator programs, today announced its roster of 15 companies for its fifth program (its fourth in Philadelphia). 

The companies represent the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent in the Internet space. They include students and alumni from top academic institutions, including the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and MIT. The founding teams also bring tremendous work experience, with Founders having past work experience at companies including Google, Yahoo!, Intel, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan. 

Five of the companies were selected in partnership with Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:  CMCSA, CMCSK), as part of the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP), which is designed to provide minority entrepreneurs with the opportunity to engage in an intensive, company-building experience.  The five selected startups to participate in MEAP include owners who are African American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian. MEAP is the first investment initiative from the $20 million fund created by Comcast as part of the NBCUniversal transaction that is committed to expanding opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.  

"We are eager to see these five innovative startups prosper through their participation in the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, and look forward to providing our resources and mentorship to these entrepreneurs," said David Horowitz, Comcast Ventures' Managing Director. 

For the fourth year, the DreamIt program will be located at the University City Science Center.  All 15 companies will work out of 6,000 square feet of shared office space at 3401 Market Street. 

"We are delighted to welcome DreamIt Ventures back home to Philadelphia - and the Science Center - this fall," said Steve Tang, President and CEO of the Science Center.  "We're all about convening communities of those that share our passion for entrepreneurship, innovation and discovery. The bootstrapping, innovative attitude of DreamIt's startup companies is a great fit. We look forward to working with DreamIt to nurture and launch these companies." 

The companies selected for DreamIt Philadelphia 2011 are:  

  • Cloudmine, Philadelphia, PA:  The world's simplest mobile backend-as-a-service provider.

  • ClrTouch, Brooklyn, NY: Enabling consumers and publishers to port web content into a custom tablet interface. 

  • ElectNext, Philadelphia, PA:  It works like a dating site, for your elections. Compare candidates and find the perfect fit.  (MEAP company)

  • FeedbackTrail, West Chester, PA:  Building a better app experience through feedback.

  • Grassroots Unwired, Philadelphia, PA: Mobile applications that provide the accountability and efficiency of real time tracking and reporting for political campaigns and non-profits that capture data in the field.

  • Kwelia, New York, NY:  Quantitatively-derived analytical tools that will facilitate decision-making for residential real estate.  (MEAP company)

  • Metalayer, Washington, DC:  A visual search company that turns the real world into sortable data.  Turn your pictures into 1,000 words. (MEAP company)

  • Nopone, Chatanooga, TN:  Bringing together contractors, builders, project managers, DIYers, and building material suppliers. List it. Supply it. Build it.

  • Oneaway, Philadelphia, PA and Palo Alto, CA:  An app that introduces you to new people.

  • Polin8, Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY: Mobile platform media studio specializing in pioneering Apps that engage users with high-concept visual, sound and touch interactions.

  • Qwite, Los Gatos, CA:  A location-based service, taking you where you want to go - from intent, to experience and memories. (MEAP company)

  • SnipSnap, Philadelphia, PA: The first app to scan and save coupons to your mobile phone.

  • Spling, Summit, NJ:  A social broadcasting network that allows you and your friends to easily share, discover, and experience media on the internet.

  • Technology Startup (Name Being Finalized), Washington, DC: A platform that will help friends make their plans more easily. (MEAP company)

  • TraRoma, Taiwan and New York, NY: A dating site with a female point of view.

"We're excited to run our second program this year, coming hot off the heels of a very successful Demo Day in New York City in August.  The caliber of this class is equally impressive," said Kerry Rupp, Managing Partner of DreamIt Ventures.  "Additionally, we're excited about the diversity of this group.  In addition to the Comcast Minority Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, this batch includes an Olympic medalist, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran and a TED Senior Fellow, as well as several people from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia." 

The 2011 program begins with a 5:30 p.m. kick-off reception sponsored by Comcast on Friday, September 9 at Quorum at the Science Center at 3711 Market Street. The event will be keynoted by Nikhil Sethi of Adaptly, a 2010 DreamIt Philadelphia alum. On Saturday, September 10, the DreamIt teams will assemble at the Comcast Center for a daylong program and their first meetings with their mentors, lawyers and accountants. The teams will take up residence at their Science Center offices on Monday, September 12.  The program will close with Demo Day in December. 

About DreamIt Ventures
Our goal at DreamIt is simple: Help great people build great companies. DreamIt is designed to catapult early stage ventures forward by providing startups all the resources they need to succeed in a compressed period of time. Companies accepted into the program often have little more than an idea. DreamIt provides a small stipend, dedicated mentors with domain expertise, and communal office space where entrepreneurs are surrounded by other entrepreneurs building their businesses. The program culminates on Demo Day when the companies present their businesses to investors, strategic partners, professionals and other entrepreneurs. In less than 3 years DreamIt has launched 36 companies including, SeatGeek, Postling, SCVNGR, Notehall, Parse.ly, TidalLabs, Easel, MindSnacks, Adaptly, and more. For more information visit: www.dreamitventures.com

About The Science Center
The University City Science Center accelerates technology commercialization, regional economic development, and the market availability of life-enhancing scientific breakthroughs by bringing together innovations, scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, laboratory facilities, and business services.  Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. 

Graduate organizations and current residents of the Science Center's Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to www.sciencecenter.org

About Comcast Ventures
Comcast Ventures is the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation.  It consists of the recently combined Comcast Interactive Capital and NBCUniversal Peacock Equity Fund and has a portfolio valued at $750 million under management.  Comcast Ventures invests in innovative businesses that represent the next generation of entertainment, communications and digital technology by partnering with entrepreneurs who have the vision, passion and tenacity to succeed.  Its primary goal is to generate superior financial returns through the success of its portfolio companies by applying the unique resources, contacts, experience, and insight of Comcast's family of companies.