Startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures is extending its minority-focused entrepreneur program DreamIt Access, thanks to a renewed commitment from previous investor Comcast Ventures. Today, DreamIt announced that Comcast Ventures will invest in two more cycles of DreamIt Access, which will be a part of the Philly 2012 program and the NY 2013 program. Through the additional investment, DreamIt Access will launch up to 15 minority-led startups over the next 12 months.
DreamIt and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation, first partnered on DreamIt Access in May 2011, announcing at the time a $350,000 fund to give five startups in the Philly 2011 program an extra infusion of capital (These included ElectNext, Kwelia, MetaLayer, ThaTrunk and Qwite, whose founders are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian.) Later, the investment was formalized into a year-long minority accelerator program called DreamIt Access.
The program was born from the idea that providing minority-led startups with access to mentors, investors and subject matter experts could help impact the under-representation of minorities in the startup ecosystem.
“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,” explains William Crowder, Managing Director at DreamIt and lead partner for the DreamIt Access program. “The same success we have seen with our DreamIt companies such as SCVNGR, SeatGeek, and Adaptly can be achieved with minority-led startups through focused efforts like DreamIt Access.”
Currently, DreamIt Access is underway in NYC where 5 minority-led startups are participating: CampGurus, FirstCrush, RevSign, Urban Cargo, and Winston. Applications for DreamIt’s fall Philadelphia program are now underway and will select up to 15 companies, including five minority-led startups.