Business

DreamIt Ventures graduates 15 startups in its 2012 Philadelphia class

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Business accelerator DreamIt Ventures is showing off its latest class in Philadelphia at a Demo Day today. It’s the culmination of DreamIt’s intensive three-month program — its fifth Philly program — where it provides young companies with mentorship, office space, and a small amount of seed funding ($10,000 to $25,000).

This year’s Philly class includes five startups chosen from the DreamIt Access program, an initiative the accelerator is pursuing, together with Comcast Ventures, to launch 15 minority-led startups over the next year.

The startups in this DreamIt class are aiming to raise between $400,000 to $1.5 million, many are also cash-positive and may bootstrap their business after today, said DreamIt partner Steven Welch in an e-mail with VentureBeat.

“This is one of deepest classes yet,” Welch noted. “These businesses are not pie in the sky ideas or wireframes masquerading as businesses. These are real businesses creating real value. Almost three quarters of them are generating some revenue.”

Here are the startups graduating today:

  • Altair Prep: An SAT tutoring service that remotely connects students with leading tutors.
  • Applique: A drag-and-drop tool for creating mobile apps.
  • Betterific: Helps you share and find ideas to improve product development.
  • Brideside: An online boutique that helps brides build up their wedding experience together with their wedding party.
  • CallGrader: Lets companies collect marketing data and analytics from phone calls.
  • Charlie: Prepares you with information about a contact before you meet up with them.
  • Cloudamize: Offers tools to help companies manage and optimize their cloud services.
  • FlagTap: Helps websites increase user engagement, and tells them exactly what their visitors are doing.
  • Mor.sl: A combined recipe and grocery delivery service.
  • NinjaThat: An online marketplace that lets businesses outsource tasks to students.
  • PeerActive: Brings together game dynamics with e-commerce.
  • Spruceling: An online marketplace for parents to sell their kids’ used clothes.
  • TrendBent: A personal style engine for men.
  • Vizy: Lets you record and store virtual memories in physical places.
  • ZenKars: Offers a peaceful online marketplace for buying used cars.

Since starting this class, there have been a few notable changes, a DreamIt representative told me. Altair Prep split into two companies: its original idea and TrendBent. Cloudamize was originally called Cloud Confidence, and BrandRep changed its name to NinjaThat. And two companies pivoted: Vizy pivoted from an initial idea called TripKno, and Spruceling pivoted from an idea called The Whoot.

Photo: Kevin Burkett/Flickr


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