DreamIt Webinar for Israeli Startups

Join Andrew Ackerman for a (NY) coffee-time conversation about DreamIt and the upcoming DreamIt New York accelerator program he is leading. Andrew is looking to speak with early stage Israeli startups interested in breaking into US markets and staying here to build a sustainable business. For more information and to sign up for the webinar, please complete this form.

The Deets
When: February 25, 2015
Time: 11:00am New York/ Eastern Time
Location: from the comfort of your own computer


Guest Blog: Myavana Goes West, My Investor Pitch Experience With DreamIt

By Candace Mitchell


It was the start of the new year and I was just getting settled in from relocating back to Philadelphia from Atlanta after an awesome experience in the DreamIt Ventures Fall 2014 class. Never would I have thought that a week later I’d be heading out to Silicon Valley to pitch investors about my company, Myavana. But that’s just how Patrick Fitzgerald rolls. Patrick was our Managing Director and when he has something in mind, he gets up and gets it done. So while it was typical, I was still blown away to see a list of over 20 venture firms invited to our demo day-style presentation. I knew this was an opportunity I had to hop on quickly. When would there be another time to command this type of audience along with the whole DreamIt Network behind me? I saw the value in forming new relationships and had my flight booked within a few hours.

Then began the incessant research on all these firms in addition to other potential investors to either invite or connect with. I was strategizing for the rest of the week—since we were heading to the Bay Area about four days after Patrick invited us. During that time I read a quote that said it best, “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” Success also meets those who have the courage to go for it! So while my company is unique, I knew we were on to something big and just had to get in front of the right person.

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Alley Boost: VC, lawyer, startup CEO, and designer square table discussion

Andrew Ackerman, managing director of DreamIt NY, joins three other movers-and-shakers from the NYC startup scene for  Alley Boost: VC, lawyer, startup CEO, and designer square table discussion at Mercey College for a this interesting conversation about how all the elements work together.

Alley Boost: Square Table – The way the square table works is instead of a panel up front speaking TO the audience – the 4 (2 squared) speakers sit at the four corners of a large table WITH the audience. Limited to 36 (6 squared!) audience members. The discussion then becomes more inclusive. The discussion is often more hands on and focused.

The Deets
Date: February 17, 2015
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Mercy College66 W. 35th Street, Ste 704 | New York, NY 10001
Get Tickets Here



No decks, just a super-crisp 1 minute pitch.
February 12, 2015 – 6:30pm – 9:00pm

The GRAND PRIZE is exclusive fast-track access to the final stage of the DreamIt NY’s Summer 2015 accelerator application process. Only 50 companies out of a pool of hundreds (and often over 1000) applications make it to this stage so this is a kind of a big deal.

Don’t want to pitch? Come anyway and have your questions about DreamIt’s programs and application process answered. You’ll also get the chance to meet awesome people and thought leaders in the NYC tech scene.

IMPORTANT: Applying to pitch does not automatically apply you for DreamIt or vice versa.  You must do both.  So please do not forget to fill out an application for DreamIt: http://www.dreamit.com/apply

EQUALLY IMPORTANT: Application deadline is March 20

EVENT DETAILS & RSVP: http://bit.ly/pi2di

Turning Word Into Action: Kicking off DreamIt Athena

by Karen Griffith Gryga, Managing Partner of DreamIt Funds

For all the talk about the unique challenges female founders face, there’s been precious little action. Until now.

With nearly four years of experience increasing the diversity in the tech industry through our DreamIt Access program (in partnership with Comcast) and with women comprising fully 1/4 of our senior team, DreamIt was ready, willing, and able to tackle the challenge. All we needed was the right partner.

We found that partner in the State of Pennsylvania’s Discovered and Developed in PA Program (D2PA)  which provided DreamIt with nearly $500,000 in grant money to identify the most effective approaches to helping female founders succeed. We are proud to announce the launch of DreamIt Athena as part of our DreamIt Philly Winter 2015 session, taking place in IC @ 3401 at the University City Science Center.

DreamIt is the first top-tier accelerator to tackle the challenges women entrepreneurs face, and we’re going beyond platforms for discussion and networking in addressing them:

Lack of Role Models: Women are relatively new to the entrepreneurial scene; we were only granted the right to a business credit in our own names in 1974(!).  DreamIt Athena brings together an unprecedented number of women mentors and role models who have already faced and surmounted the high level of scrutiny that often placed them at a disadvantage from the start.

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Autotransfusion, telemedicine for nutrition, Epic alumni part of DreamIt Health Baltimore’s 2nd class

via Stephanie Baum of Med City News

Improving patient handoffs, autotransfusion, Epic alumni and a couple of women-led startups figure into DreamIt Health Baltimore‘s second class of early stage healthcare companies. They will also be the first to occupy its permanent office at a new shared working space.

In a phone interview with DreamIt Ventures Managing Director Jason Hardebeck, he noted that the accelerator has added new partners — University of Maryland in Baltimore, including its medical school, and The Abell Foundation.

He added that DreamIt’s Baltimore headquarters would be in Power Plant Live! in Mosaic Building 113. It will be an anchor tenant at the 16,000 square foot shared workspace facility in the Inner Harbor.

Here’s a brief look at the six companies taking part in the healthcare accelerator’s four month program:

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A High Tech Way to Grow Healthy Herbs Indoors

by Sarah-Jane Bedwell

If you have a soft spot for herb gardens but find yourself without a yard, patio or a sunny climate, we have good news. There’s a new countertop garden called the ROOT, which uses an automated lighting and watering system that you can control with your smart phone.

ROOT is the brainchild of New York-based Ohneka Farms, which specializes in organic foods. Since it is a hydroponic design (which means the plants grow directly in nutrient-rich water) it involves no dirt. And since it has a water sensor that knows when the water runs low and an app to let you know when to add nutrients, you don’t even need a green thumb. It takes up only a square foot of countertop space and it can accommodate up to 16 seedling pods.

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2014 Proves To Be a Year of Growth and Success for DreamIt Ventures

by David Bookspan, co-founder DreamIt Ventures

2014 was an explosive year of growth and success for DreamIt.  I took some time over the holidays to reflect on where we started and where we have come.

Mike, Steve, and I launched DreamIt in 2008 with a mission to pay-it-forward by building process around startups that stripped away as many obstacles, and put as many resources behind them as possible to enable the most promising founders to build their companies faster.  In the last six years, DreamIt has grown to a team of 14 Partners, 13 world class companies supporting specific vertical tracks, 175-plus 1:1 mentors, over 20 world class service providers, scores of technology providers, and countless supporters.  Together, this community has rallied around the mission of helping to launch companies that can tilt the globe.

Since 2008, DreamIt has launched 179 companies including companies like SeatGeek, LevelUp, Notehall (acquired by Chegg NYSE:CHGG), Parsely, Biomeme, Mindsnacks, and Adaptly.  DreamIt Companies have gone on to raise close to $180M in follow-on funding and at a market value over half-billion dollars.

In 2014, many DreamIt companies surpassed milestones and achieved well-deserved recognition:

– Biomeme (DreamIt Health Philadelphia ‘13) was deployed to West Africa by the U.S. Department of Defense to help the world fight Ebola.

– Elevate Labs (DreamIt Philly ‘10) was named the #1 App in the Apple App Store

– SeatGeek (DreamIt Philly ‘09) closed their Series B round of $35M led by Accel Partners and with star investors such as Peyton Manning, Carmelo Anthony and NAS

– Stylr (DreamIt NY ‘13) was acquired by Walmart

– Seratis (DreamIt Health Philly ‘13) won the Verizon Powerful Answers Award

– Nikhil Sethi and Garrett Ullom the founders of Adaptly (DreamIt Philly ‘10), were named to Forbes 30 under 30

– Senem Guney, Priya Buthani, and Allison Berliner, all DreamIt Female Founders, were named as the three fellows for the 2015 Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs Building Bridges program

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Whose Your Landlord Checks Out Your Place For You Before You Rent It

by John Biggs

Ofo Ezeugwu wants you to like your landlord. His new start-up, Whose Your Landlord (he explains about the Whose vs. Who’s here), rates landlords, allowing you to ensure you don’t get a stinker when you sign your rental contract.

Ezeugwu, who went to Temple University and is an “actor and model, & former licensed life, accident, and health insurance producer,” hopes to “address the interpersonal side of the rental search process and producing transparency between renters, property managers, and landlords.”

“I was running for the VP of Temple’s student body during my junior year (2012). At one of our late night meetings, we were discussing ways to help students with off-campus living. I thought aloud, ‘what if students could rate their landlords, that way those coming in behind them would know what to expect before ever signing a lease?’ The students loved the idea and our team eventually won the campaign with, at the time, “Rate Your Landlord” on our platform,” he said.

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Diversity in Tech: Not just a Silicon Valley Problem, it’s an American Problem

written by William Crowder, Managing Director for DreamIt Access

The topic of diversity in tech continues to make national headlines. In nearly every instance the conversation is about the efforts underway in Silicon Valley. Even the region’s most recognized accelerator, Y Combinator made USA Today headlines last week as its president announced the firm’s push to recruit more diverse founders and said “I wish that all other venture funders thought about this the way we do…In the meantime, we have this incredible competitive advantage because no one else is doing this.”

While that might be true in Silicon Valley, when one steps outside of that region they realize that the revelation is not new wisdom. I am amazed by the amount of attention and energy being expended at attempting to solve such a huge and historic problem on a relatively small scale. In other words, the rest of “us” lives in the rest of the U.S.  Diversity in tech is not a geographic concern; rather it is a mindset that must be changed across the entire country if we expect to see any meaningful progress.  Believe it or not, Silicon Valley is not the cure for what ails us.  The Valley will ultimately be a part of the solution and I am glad to hear that it is finally realizing what many have been aware of for quite some time, that there is underrepresentation across the entire tech landscape and that should and must change.

I am a partner at a highly regarded global startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures, which has helped launch over 179 companies over the last 6 years.  At DreamIt we have taken a proactive approach to addressing the diversity in tech issue.  Specifically, in 2011 we started that work by creating a component within our accelerator cycles that would specifically recruit startups led by founders from underrepresented populations.  In partnership with Comcast we intentionally set about the creation of a program and environment that was open and welcoming to new ideas, perspectives, and problems to solve.  Since creating the DreamIt Access program, we have seen the diversity in each class increase and more importantly we have seen firsthand the power it has in the development of high quality startups and founders.

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