Duke Lunch & Learn Info Session

Are you launching the next great tech company? DreamIt Ventures Managing Partner Elliot Menschik will be in Durham next week hosting a Lunch & Learn Series at Duke University and American Underground. Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Managing Partner Elliot Menschik and have your questions about DreamIt’s programs and application process answered. Lunch will be provided.

The Deets
Date: Friday April 11th, 2014
Time: 12:45-1:45 pm
Location: Sauer Classroom @ Fuqua | 100 Fuqua Drive | Durham, NC 27708
RSVP: http://dreamit.ticketleap.com/dreamitduke/

(CHI) Startup Networking Night

Join DreamIt NYC Managing Director Andrew Ackerman at Chicago Booth’s 4th biannual Start-Up Networking Night.

The Start-Up Networking Night creates an opportunity to bring a strong community of entrepreneurs and students from Chicago Booth together for a productive night of networking. This event will be a great opportunity to find top talent for projects, part-time opportunities, and full-time positions, connect with Chicago Booth start-up resources, including the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Career Services, and to expand your network and create connections with some of the brightest MBA students interested in entrepreneurship as well as other start-ups.

The Deets
April 10, 2014
Time: 5:00 – 7:30pm
Location: Gleacher Center in the heart of downtown Chicago just off the Magnificent Mil

Digital Media & Entertainment Investing Conference

Interested in meeting Digital Media and Entertainment Investors?
Then register for the FundingPost Investing Conference on Thursday, April 10, in New York City!
FundingPost has hosted 260+ sold-out venture events in 23 cities over the past 13 years.

If you are an Investor, Company, Service Provider, or Member of the Press in music, digital media, data storage, television, video games, streaming media, film, compression technology, design, animation… either on the creative side or the technology that supports it, this is a Must-Attend event!

RSVP and More Information →

5 promising startups from DreamIt Ventures’ Austin demo day

via Tom Cheredar of VentureBeat

The second batch of companies to come out of DreamIt Ventures’ Austin incubator program pitched to a full room of investors today.

Nine companies presented as part of the demo day, which allotted founders seven minutes to make a convincing case for why their company will be successful. VentureBeat has rounded up the five most promising startups, which you can check out below.

SecondMic is a service that lets you listen to an audio feed for unofficial sports commentary during a live game or create a channel where you can offer your own commentary that others can tune in to. This seems like a relatively simple function, but since sports games are most exciting when watched live, experiencing a delay on an audio feed for outside commentary can be annoying. That’s why SecondMic built a patent-pending technology for syncing audio with live games that offers a delay of 40 milliseconds or less.

Right now the service is only available for college and NBA basketball games, but the startup has plans to expand to other sports in the near future. SecondMic founder Francisco Prat told me the startup will generate revenue through promotional partnerships with big brands. SecondMic claims that users have logged 300 hours listening to custom sports commentary since launching a beta version of the service six weeks ago.

If there’s a gem among this year’s DreamIt Austin bunch, it’s most definitely Swan. The startup’s service lets you book appointments with beauty professionals (hair stylists, nail techs, massage therapists, etc.) at a location of your choosing. Users can pay for these services directly though Swan’s iOS app, and beauty professionals get paid via their own PayPal account at the time of the transaction.

Founder Julia Andalman told VentureBeat that Swan is appealing on two levels: Customers love having professionals come to them, and professionals in turn get a chance to book appointments during times that are usually spent doing nothing at a salon. Andalman said the startup only needs 1,200 customers to reach $1 million in revenue annually. Swan is only available in Austin and Dallas, but Andalman said she wants to launch in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago in the near future.

Livewire‘s business is based on the premise that taxes are difficult to file for most of us – even for the so-called professionals at companies like H&R Block that usually have no formal training in accounting. Its solution? Build a service that lets you video conference with a trained accountant to file your taxes and ensure everything is in order. Livewire said its service is superior to the Liberty Tax Services of the world because their people are better qualified and are often less costly. It also offers an advantage over tax software because it allows Livewire (or the professional working on your taxes) to be accountable for errors should the IRS audit you. The startup has 10 full-time employees and is raising a seed round of funding.

EyeQ wants to bring physical retail stores better information about customer activity while in the store. It does this in three main ways: collecting usage data from touchscreen displays within the store, using the on-board camera on those displays to anonymously determine demographic data on that customer (age, gender, etc.), and tracking movements within the store from a customer’s smartphone (provided that customer has Wi-Fi enabled). EyeQ’s service is currently in beta testing and has four retail stores signed up.

The startup generates revenue by charging a fee for each device it sets up within a store. EyeQ CEO Michael Garel said he’d also like the service to eventually help bridge the gap for businesses that operate both physical and online retail stores, but such a move would require customers to opt in to sharing their shopping data first.

Octane Lending
Obtaining loans for any type of powersport vehicle (motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, PWCs, etc.) is different than for regular automobiles, and it hurts your credit each time a loan application is sent. On top of that, the process dealerships have to go through to apply for loans on these vehicles is also unique in that they have to fill out an application for each bank they solicit loans from for each customer. As you can imagine, this process isn’t exactly great for dealership businesses.

Austin-based Octane Lending built a SaaS platform that simplifies this process, allowing powersport dealers to fill out information once and then seek out banks for a loan. The startup has also set up a pre-approval loan process that prevents a dealer’s customers from taking a hit on their credit score. Cofounder Jason Guss told me after the demo that the company will generate revenue by charging a flat fee for each approved loan. This allows powersports dealers to use the service for free. The startup already has 41 dealers using the service and loan agreements with four banks.

(PIT) Carnegie Mellon University Lunch & Learn Info Session

Elliot Menschik, managing partner at DreamIt Ventures, will be in hosting a Lunch & Learn Series at Carnegie Mellon University. Don’t miss your opportunity to meet Elliot and have your questions about DreamIt’s upcoming programs and application process answered.

The Deets
Friday March 28th, 2014
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm
Location: Posner Hall Room 153 | Tepper School of Business 500 Forbes Avenue | Pittsburg, PA 15213
RSVP: http://dreamit.ticketleap.com/dreamit-ventures-cmu/

(PHL) DreamIt Health at Penn Med

Meet Penn Med alum Elliot Menschik (G’99, M’00), a physician/scientist turned tech entrepreneur and investor.  Elliot now leads the healthcare arm of DreamIt Ventures and will discuss his trajectory into startup land and how DreamIt works with first-time entrepreneurs to stack the deck in their favor through seed capital, coaching, curriculum, community and access to people and resources typically out of reach.  Elliot will also discuss the next cycle of DreamIt’s healthtech startup accelerator in Philadelphia this coming summer.

The Deets
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2014
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Perelman School of Medicine | Reunion Hall in John Morgan Building
RSVP: http://dreamit.ticketleap.com/dreamit-health-at-penn-medicine/

Austin startups leverage mobile technology for sports fans

via Christopher Calnan of Austin Business Journal

Two Austin-area startups are using mobile technology to target the enormous demographic market of people who watch sports and other events.

Although SecondMic Inc. and Cheggin Inc. are taking different approaches to tap into that market, both companies are part of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator operating in downtown Austin, after relocating from the East Coast.

SecondMic, which launched in New York last year, is designed to enable users to listen real-time to non-network sports commentators and experts during other events such as the Academy Awards. Cheggin was founded in Boston but launched this month the beta version of mobile application than enables users to traded group text messages and access statistics during games.

Continue Reading→

Health-care entrepreneurs getting boost from the big boys

via John George of the Philadelphia Business Journal

Independence Blue Cross, Penn Medicine, and DreamIt Ventures are once again teaming up to support early-stage health-care companies.

Applications are now being accepted for their second DreamIt Health Philadelphia program, set to begin in July. Start-ups selected for the program get a $50,000 stipend along with workspace, mentoring, access to business contacts and other support services to assist them in further developing their businesses.

Last year’s class featured four local start-ups and six from outside the region that were developing new ways to deal with a range of health-care industry problems and issues, such as hospital readmissions, cost transparency, clinical communications and mobile diagnostics. Eight of the companies are still in the region.

Continue Reading→

DreamIt Ventures launches new microfund powered by AngelList

via Tom Cheredar of VentureBeat

Startup incubator DreamIt Ventures Austinis kicking off a new microfund this week that will benefit the companies involved with itssecond accelerator program.

The microfund, which will run through apartnership with AngelList, allows accredited investors to crowdfund money for startups. Everyone who participates in DreamIt Austin’s microfund will need to make a $2,500 minimum investment that will fund all nine companies within DreamIt’s Austin program — that means you can’t just pick and chose to fund only the companies you like.

Continue Reading→


DreamIt Ventures Announces Microfund for DreamIt Austin 2014 on AngelList

Accredited investors will have the opportunity to invest
in the 9 companies participating in DreamIt Austin via AngelList

March 6, 2014 (Austin, Tx): DreamIt Ventures (“DreamIt”), a leading technology accelerator for entrepreneurs, announced today a partnership with AngelList that will establish a microfund for the current DreamIt Austin companies and give accredited investors the opportunity to invest in the entire cohort simultaneously.

While crowdfunding sites have long allowed individual, accredited investors to back startups, the AngelList’s class funds are the first to enable investors to back an entire cohort at once.

“We are extremely excited to offer this opportunity to the companies participating in our current DreamIt Austin accelerator and thrilled to offer investors a convenient way to access to our highly curated portfolio  companies,” said Karen Griffith Gryga, Managing Partner of DreamIt Funds. “At DreamIt we build high-impact partnerships that support and further our companies. Our AngelList class fund provides our companies with more resources to achieve significant milestones in their development and the opportunity for investors to invest in a diverse portfolio of high quality companies and entrepreneurs from around the world, at pre-Demo Day valuations.”

The money raised through the AngelList fund is in addition to the benefits participating startups receive at DreamIt, including: seed funding up to $25,000; intensive coaching and mentorship; a collaborative workspace; and access to exclusive opportunities to engage with leading entrepreneurs, business executives, and service providers. The program’s capstone, for all tracks, is the opportunity to pitch to a room full of investors at Demo Day.

“DreamIt truly goes out of their way to provide the best resources and opportunities for their companies,” said Julia Andalman CEO of SWAN, a company currently participating in DreamIt Austin. “They provide us a place to co-work, help us navigate the pulse tech scenes nationwide, bring in top-tier subject matter experts and investors, provide seed funding, and now a platform for us to raise capital before the program ends. It’s been rigorous, but with the opportunities DreamIt offers, we know we are being set up for success.”

More information on the DreamIt class fund on AngelList is available at http://angel.co/dreamit-austin-2014.

Applications are now open for DreamIt New York 2014. DreamIt Ventures is planning for two more cycles in 2014, outside of DreamIt NY, including a DreamIt Health Philadelphia program in the Summer 2014 and a traditional DreamIt Philly accelerator in the Fall. Schedules and locations for upcoming DreamIt accelerators can be found here.

DreamIt Ventures helps exceptional people build exceptional companies.  We believe that if you create a community of entrepreneurs working side-by-side on their various companies, strip away as many impediments as possible, and makes as many resources available as possible, some magic can happen in a short period of time.  DreamIt operates accelerators in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore and Tel Aviv.  Since its founding in 2008, DreamIt has launched 127 companies including:

Adaptly, LevelUp, Parsely, SeatGeek, MindSnacks, SnipSnap, Reactor, Peeractive, TrendKite and Biomeme. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available at www.dreamitventures.com, or via email at info@dreamitventures.com.