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Startup Accelerator DreamIt Ventures Takes Manhattan

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Over the past year, the support system for New York City entrepreneurs and tech startups has grown significantly including the addition of: TechStars NYC mentoring and seed funding program, a new Manhattan branch of Accel Partners, and the opening of a startup academy and co-work space for startups and serial entrepreneurs, General Assemb.ly.

Today, DreamIt Ventures announced its expansion to the city, just one hour or so away from its original Philadelphia startup accelerator.

DreamIt Ventures provides up to $25,000 in seed funding to its portfolio companies, along with coaching, exclusive speaking engagements, a chance to pitch at a Demo Day to affiliated angel and venture investors, and a collaborative workspace. The organization has yet to sign a lease on (or reveal the address of) its Manhattan location, but has confirmed that the following entrepreneurs will serve as advisors to companies accepted into its NYC program this spring:

    Gil Beyda: Founder, RealMedia (acquired by WPP)

    Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg: Founders, FutureNow, and New York Times bestselling authors

    John Eley: CEO, Pivot; Former CEO HotSpot FX (acquired by Knight Capital)

    Jason Finger: former CEO/Founder, SeamlessWeb (acquired by Aramark)

    Jonah Goodhart: Co-Founder, Colonize.com; Board Member of Right Media (acquired by Yahoo)

    Ken Seiff: former CEO and Founder, Bluefly (NASDAQ: BFLY)

    Jonathan Shapiro, CEO, MediaWhiz; Former Chief Strategy Officer, Doubleclick; Former President, Lillian Vernon

    Nat Turner: former CEO, Founder, Invite Media (acquired by Google)

    Kaleil Isaza Tuzman: CEO, Founder, KIT Digital (NASDAQ: KITD)

    Michael Yavondite: CEO, Hashable; former CEO, Quigo (acquired by AOL)

The program will run from mid-May to mid-August this year. Applicants to DreamIt Ventures’ NYC program will be reviewed on a rolling basis with an early decision deadline of February 28, 2011 and a final deadline of March 16, 2011, according to the accelerator’s site. DreamIt has “Hacker” and “Strategist” tracks where individuals not yet affiliated with a company can apply to potentially join a portfolio startup, on either the technical or business front.

DreamIt Ventures plans to admit ten to fifteen companies into its NYC program, five of which will be digital education businesses. That’s the same setup as the Philly program. In both cities, DreamIt Ventures partners with Startl — an organization funded by the MacArthur, Hewlett and Gates Foundations — to help five, digital education startups build their businesses.

DreamIt Ventures alumni companies have included SCVNGR (2008), SeatGeek (2009) and MindSnacks (2010).

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