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Minority-led Startups Score With The Expansion Of The DreamIt Access Incubator Program

¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! Sorry, I’ve been exposed to a lot of South American fútbol lately. There is a victory that warrants celebration. Startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures recently announced the extension of it’s entrepreneur program DreamIt Access, which aims to redress the underrepresentation of minorities in the startup ecosystem.

 

 

Thanks to a renewed commitment from investment partner Comcast Ventures (the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation), DreamIt Access will continue its program through two more cycles in Philadelphia 2012 and New York 2013. Over the course of twelve months, DreamIt Access will launch as many as fifteen minority-led startups. Currently, DreamIt Access is underway in NYC, working with startups CampGurus, FirstCrush, RevSign, Urban Cargo, and Winston.

 

 

 

In 2011, DreamIt Ventures first partnered with Comcast Ventures in Philadelphia. A combined fund of $350,000 produced a class of five minority-led startups, including ElectNext, Kwelia, metaLayer, Qwite, and ThaTrunk (representing African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Indian founders). After the initial success of the minority entrepreneur program, the DreamIt Access accelerator was established. The driving belief behind the endeavor is that it’s possible to increase the number of successful minority-led startups by providing mentors, investors, special events, and technology experts to budding entrepreneurs.

 

Managing Director at DreamIt and lead partner for DreamIt Access, William Crowder, says of the program, “The DreamIt Access experience provides an unmatched environment for minority entrepreneurs to test their ideas, learn from, and alongside, other startups, and build great companies.”

 

 

A company must be at least 50% owned by members of a founding entrepreneur team who are African American, Asian, Latino American, or Native American. For more details, visit the DreamIt Access FAQ page. Applications are now being accepted for the Philadelphia cycle.

 

The goal behind all DreamIt Ventures is the same: help people with great ideas build great companies. They offer not only funding to promising entrepreneurs, but a structured startup accelerator program. The DreamIt Access program works with the same principles behind the DreamIt Ventures to support and grow minority-led startups.

 

Inside DreamIt Ventures

DreamIt Ventures is a venture capital firm that focuses on incubation and seed investments. Founded in 2007, the firm aims to invest between $10,000 and $25,000 in each company. Participating companies join a community of entrepreneurs for a three month program that offers seed funding and interactive support. What does the DreamIt team provide?

 

 

The 5 C’s

Community

  • A collaborative work space to share ideas and inspiration
  • A culture of support, (and healthy competition
  • Access to hackers and strategists pools

Coaching

  • Direct 1-1 mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs who serve as DreamIt managing partners

Capital

  • Up to $30K in funding

Connections

  • Interaction with bright people with different skills who might join the team, including investors, legal and accounting services, marketers, PR
  • Opportunities to pitch angel investors and venture capitalists

Curriculum

  • Regular speakers
  • Instruction available in finance, business development, sales, marketing, and tech

 

It’s contagious and a lot of fun to scream “¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!” Let’s hope The DreamIt Access program launches many success stories worth cheering.

 

Photo Credits

DreamItVentures.com / YouTube.com

Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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