Minority tech founders seek VC connections

Black and Latino entrepreneurs push an insular and often risk-averse industry in new directions.
via Judith Messina of Crain’s New York

In a city that is 27% Latino and growing, Ricardo Garcia-Amaya is a rarity. He’s a tech entrepreneur who founded a venture-capital-backed startup.

“I find myself at the forefront,” said Mr. Garcia-Amaya, whose company, DonorTap, uses data to help nonprofits raise money.

It’s a place he’s gotten to by stepping beyond his Latino roots. “Within my immediate Latino community, there are no mentors, especially in tech in early stage,” Mr. Garcia-Amaya explained. “In fact, forget about tech; just early-stage investment is extremely difficult. Throw in tech and it’s a whole different ballgame.”

Black and Latino entrepreneurs are a small subset of Silicon Alley, where 83% of teams getting seed and Series A money are all white, according to 2010 research from CB Insights, with the all-white teams receiving a higher median investment from venture capitalists.

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DreamIt Health Philadelphia announces its next cohort of tech startups

IBC, Penn Medicine and DreamIt Ventures to help speed their solutions to market

PHILADELPHIA – July 16, 2014Independence Blue Cross (Independence), Penn Medicine,and DreamIt Ventures today announce the cohort of nine health-tech startups selected to participate in DreamIt Health Philadelphia 2014, the third cycle of DreamIt’s health-tech accelerator and second held in Philadelphia. The startup teams, recruited from around the country, will participate in a 16-week boot camp from July 21 through November 7 to rapidly achieve key business milestones in building high-growth potential companies. DreamIt Health will host a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. for the Philadelphia entrepreneurial community at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to welcome the companies and celebrate the program’s launch.

Independence, Penn Medicine, and DreamIt Ventures jointly selected the companies based on the strength of their teams and the significance of the problems they are tackling within the health care sector. Each team will receive $50,000 in seed capital; coaching from successful tech entrepreneurs; an intense curriculum at the intersection of health care, business, technology and design; free workspace at the Innovation Center @3401 (ic@3401), on the campus of the University City Science Center; and access to people and resources across leading health care organizations, which are typically out of reach to startups.

The capstone event of the program, Demo Day, will be held on October 30 and affords each team the opportunity to share their progress to date and plans for the future with an audience of several hundred investors, industry leaders, potential customers and the press.

“As we saw from the success of last year’s DreamIt class, Philadelphia is an ideal environment for health care innovation, and we are excited to once again participate in this powerful partnership,” said Independence President and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. “With the rapid changes in health care, we absolutely have to find new ways to solve problems. That’s why it’s vital to invest our energy, expertise and other resources in helping these promising startups build and test their products and services.”

“We look forward to continuing our role in driving valuable advances in health care delivery through this program,” said Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to sharing our expertise and working with our partners to build on this initiative’s early successes.”

Last year’s inaugural DreamIt Health class brought six promising health care startups from across the country to Philadelphia to work alongside four Philadelphia-born startups on a wide range of significant health care issues, including hospital readmissions, cost transparency, health care payments, clinical communications and mobile diagnostics.

“DreamIt Health provided us so much more than funding,” said Eric King, co-founder of Grand Round Table, a graduate of the 2013 DreamIt Health class. “The opportunity to connect with companies like Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine was truly invaluable. The anonymous claims data that Independence provided has helped us to solidify our value proposition, helping doctors find appropriate diagnoses faster and reducing the number of unnecessary tests and treatments.”

The incoming teams are:

BioBots (Philadelphia, PA): Low-cost 3D printers that support multiple biomaterials for creating biological structures without mutation risk.

Drop Diagnostics (Philadelphia, PA): Rapid disease diagnosis through detection of signature proteins using carbon nanotubes and microfluidics.

FlexiSched (Philadelphia, PA): Dynamic scheduling of patients, predicting no-shows and accounting for variable provider productivity and visit length.

NarrativeDx (Austin, TX): Big data analysis of patient feedback to improve the hospital customer experience and maximize Medicare reimbursement.

RegDesk  (Bear, DE): The leading marketplace for matching biotech and device companies with freelancing regulatory expertise around the world.

Ristcall (Pittsburgh, PA): Updating the call button with a wearable for inpatients to communicate on-demand with nursing staff.

Tissue Analytics (Baltimore, MD): Remote management of wound healing through image analysis of mobile-generated photos.

TowerView Health (Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC/San Francisco, CA): Improved patient adherence to complex, multi-drug regimens using novel “smart” pillboxes.

TrueClaim (Philadelphia, PA/Jacksonville, FL): Reduction of upcoding and fraud in health care claims submissions.

“We’re excited to start our work alongside some of the most promising health-tech startups in the nation,” said Dr. Elliot Menschik, DreamIt Venture’s managing partner for health care. “It will be an intense and transformative 16 weeks for these teams as we coach them through the most volatile period of a company’s life and as we wire them into people, resources and opportunities that are significant shortcuts to success in the market.

About DreamIt Ventures
DreamIt Ventures helps exceptional people build exceptional companies. DreamIt operates accelerators in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, and Baltimore. Since its founding in 2008, DreamIt has helped 145 startups reduce risk and speed to market including: Adaptly, LevelUp, Parsely, SeatGeek, MindSnacks, SnipSnap, Peeractive, TrendKite and Biomeme. DreamIt Ventures is headquartered at the Innovation Center @3401, a collaboration between the University City Science Center and Drexel University that is located on the Science Center campus in Philadelphia. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available at www.dreamitventures.com, or via email at info@dreamitventures.com.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 8.8 million people nationwide, including 2.5 million in the region. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn moreabout how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Penn Medicine
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 16 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $398 million awarded in the 2012 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2012, Penn Medicine provided $827 million to benefit our community.


Pinterest Missed An $8 Billion Opportunity And This Little Startup Just Snatched It Up

via Emma McGowan of Killer Startups

I recently discovered what a deep rabbit hole Pinterest is when I took a tumble down it in search of a bridesmaid’s dress.

Hours upon hours of my life were lost to that infinite scrolling, addictive site and the biggest thing that pissed me off was when I couldn’t figure out where the $%!$@ the dress I wanted came from originally. Cue reverse image search on Google that brings me up 8 million other dresses I DIDN’T want and no info on the one that I DID.

If only I had known about Browsy two weeks ago, I could have saved myself a whole lot of pain.

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DreamIt Health Philadelphia names 2014 class

via John George of Philadelphia Business Journal

The nine health-care technology startups selected to participate in DreamIt Health Philadelphia 2014 include companies looking to reduce health-care fraud, manage wound-care treatment from remote location and use 3D printers to create therapeutic biomaterials.

The program recruits entrepreneurs from across the country willing to set up shop in the city. It was created last year through a partnership of Independence Blue Cross, Penn Medicine, and DreamIt. Last year, 10 companies participated in the high-tech accelerator program.

This year’s participants will take part in a 16-week boot camp from July 21 through November and receive $50,000 in seed capital; coaching from successful tech entrepreneurs; free workspace at the University Science Center’s Innovation Center and access to people and resources at local health-care organizations.

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(CAN) Montreal Startup Festival with DreamIt

Follow DreamIt north of the Border for a exciting day at the Montreal Startup Festival. Meet up with Managing Director of our Philadelphia branch, Patrick FitzGerald, and learn about the tremendous opportunities DreamIt can offer. Being an entrepreneur himself, Patrick can speak first hand to the benefits of the DreamIt Program.

The Deets:

Date: July 10, 2014
Time: More Information to Follow
Location: Terrasses Bonsecours | Quais Du Vieux-Port, Montreal, QC H3C 2W3, Canada
RSVP: More Information to Follow

(AUS) Informational Happy Hour with DreamIt CEO, Kerry Rupp

Austin do not miss out on one of the last DreamIt Ventures’ meet and greet of the summer! As part of the recruiting process for DreamIt Ventures upcoming Philadelphia Cycle, DreamIt Ventures CEO, Kerry Rupp, will be hosting an Informational Happy Hour, that is sure to be a great time for all. Learn all you can handle about the DreamIt program, while networking with some of Austin’s best and brightest entrepreneurs and startup vets. Applications for the next DreamIt cycle close July 11, so make sure you are at this event… See you there!

The Deets:

Date: July 7, 2014
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Location: Capital Factory | 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701


(AUS) One-on-One Office Hours with CEO, Kerry Rupp

Listen up Austin: Before applications close for DreamIt Ventures in Philadelphia, join DreamIt Ventures CEO, Kerry Rupp, for private office hours! As the head of the DreamIt operations, Kerry is the one you want to talk to about the DreamIt program. Learn all about the awesome benefits that DreamIt can offer to the early stage startup company. Make sure you do not miss this event because applications for our next cycle close July 11… Do not miss out!

The Deets:

Date: July 7, 2014
Time: 3-6pm
Location: Capital Factory | 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701

Browsy Helps Pinterest Users Shop

People spend a lot of time browsing on Pinterest. Fine, but what if you want to buy something you see? We know – happens all the time. That’s what Browsy is all about. It’s an automated solution that instantly imports your pins, identifies the products and searches the web to find the best prices.

Makes sense. Saves dollars. Gotta love that!

Co-founder Sonali Pillay tells us how she plans on making millions and millions of Pinterest browsers a lot happier.

Tell us about the decision to apply for DreamIt Accelerator.

In the last few years, fashion-tech has blossomed. Along with the maturing of the industry has come incredibly high expectations – both on the part of your users and potential investors.

Our team at Browsy applied to DreamIt hoping to get a 90-day stress test from a network of founders, investors, and practitioners who could help ensure we build both the best product possible for our users, as well as a tenable business.

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(CHI) Chicago Tech Week – Patrick FitzGerald Speaking

Chi-City, DreamIt Managing Director, Patrick FitzGerald will be blowing through the Windy City, and speaking at Chicago Tech Week. As lawyer turned entrepreneur, Patrick’s stories about the startup world are sure to assist the young entrepreneur. Also listen to him discuss the benefits of the DreamIt program that kicks off in Philly at the end of the summer. This engagement is definitely one you do not want to miss!!!!

The Deets:

Date: June 26, 2014
Time: More Info to Follow
Location: 222 W. Mechandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL
RSVP: http://techweek.com/chicago/

(NYC) One-on-One Office Hours with William Crowder

New York, New York! Join DreamIt Ventures Managing Director, William Crowder for one of the last meet and greets of this summer’s recruiting cycle. As a partner at DreamIt, William can answer all of your questions about what DreamIt has to offer. Make sure you stop by for your chance to see a DreamIt cycle in action and talk with William about how you can bring your startup to the table!

The Deets:

Date: June 26, 2014
Time: 2-4pm
Location: DreamIt NYC HQ | 44 wall St 21st floor, NYC10005