At DreamIt, we push our companies to think BIG! We want them to push the envelope, compete in new ways, and disrupt the status quo. At DreamIt, we also believe in taking our own advice. So after completing a successful effort to launch minority-led startups in our Philadelphia 2011 class, we challenged ourselves to do more, much more.
Introducing DreamIt Access, a yearlong commitment to launch 15 minority-led startups in New York and Philadelphia. DreamIt Access was born out of the idea that the underrepresentation of minorities in the startup ecosystem can be directly and positively impacted by providing minority-led startups with access to mentors, investors, and subject matter experts throughout the technology arena. The program follows on the heels of the successful conclusion of DreamIt Philadelphia 2011 and the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program in which Comcast Ventures was an investor. That innovative program produced five minority-led startups in the DreamIt class, including ElectNext, Kwelia, metaLayer , Qwite , and ThaTrunk .
In addition to all of the benefits and services provided to all participants in DreamIt NYC 2012, DreamIt Access will include mentors, special events, and advisors with a particular interest in increasing the number of successful minority-led startups. With sponsors such as Comcast Corporation, one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies, the DreamIt Access startups will be surrounded by opportunities for subject matter expertise, strategic guidance, and business development potential that can propel their businesses forward at light speed.
In order to be eligible to participate in DreamIt Access, your company must be at least 50% owned by members of your founding entrepreneur team who are African American, Asian American, Latino American or Native American (before taking into account the equity interest to be issued to DreamIt and the DreamIt Access investors in connection with your participation in DreamIt NYC 2012 – for more information on that, please see our FAQ), and such founding entrepreneur team (including their relative ownership interests, again without taking into account the equity interests to be issued to DreamIt and its investors) must be maintained throughout the duration of DreamIt NYC 2012. Accordingly, you will be required to provide information regarding the ethnicity, race, citizenship and ownership of your founders in your application to DreamIt Access; provision of this information is entirely voluntary, but you cannot be considered for the DreamIt Access without it. If you choose not to provide this information, your application will still be considered for participation in DreamIt NYC 2012, but not as part of DreamIt Access.
William Crowder will serve as Managing Director responsible for overseeing and operating DreamIt Access. His bio is available here.