The Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures opened its doors in New York City in May of 2011. Managing Director Mark Wachen chose just 15 teams out of 500 applications for this summer’s class, and those 15 teams have now spent one hot and sticky summer working tirelessly for everything that will come after today.
In a vibe similar to Y Combinator and Tech Stars, the DreamIt founders designed the accelerator to help talented teams with funding, development, mentoring and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists. DreamIt offers each selected company a “Dollarship” of between $10,000 and $25,000, and $5,000 plus $5,000 for each founding team member (up to four) who will be onsite for the program. In return, DreamIt will receive a 6% passive equity stake in the company. DreamIt Ventures alumni companies have included SCVNGR, SeatGeek and MindSnacks.
Today, is Demo Day for DreamIt Ventures, when the 14 teams listed below will pitch to a room filled with investors, mentors, press and New York’s startup community in midtown’s McGraw Hill Conference Center. Let’s meet the teams!
1DocWay, hails from St Louis, MO and will be offering up a video-chat product based Doctor’s office with back-end automation.
AfterSteps came down to New York from Boston, MA and will pitch its online end-of-life planning platform today. We all knew this was coming and I expect we’ll see a lot more social media afterlife businesses popping up in the next few years. AfterSteps allows you to store your wishes and important information securely in the cloud, and access expert advice on how and why to prepare for the worst-case scenario in advance. Experts include estate, financial and funeral planners.
If your business is not on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Mobile, you will be toast. AppAddictive is a New York team that has built a social and mobile app geared towards publishing and advertising. It’s a free platform for businesses of all sizes to publish apps without coding. I particularly like the fact that you can use the app to load your Vimeo or Flickr onto your Facebook page in a beautiful way.
AppBrick is another startup from up north in Boston, MA. This company allows content producers to launch mobile and web applications without prior programming. Its first applications, BookBrick and StoryBrick, empower authors to publish and manage powerful apps via an intuitive, web-based interface, with no programming skills required.
Clothes Horse is fittingly from New York, NY as its a data-driven platform that “makes fashion fit,” helping users find brands that fit them best. The app enables customers to shop for clothing across retailers with a single user profile. It’s like “Facebook Connect for fashion.” Have you ever been disappointed by clothes you ordered online? Knowing what size or style is going to make you look your best is no easy feat. I am a little bit in love with their logo too.
Cognection hails from New Haven, CT and works in online retail optimization. CEO Paul M. Cohen previously studied cognitive science with a focus in consumer decision making at Yale University, and experimental economics at King’s College at Cambridge University. Cohen is currently looking for retailers in the electronics, appliances, computer hardware, furniture and home furnishings, office equipment and supplies, sporting goods, toys and games, health and beauty aids, and clothing accessories spaces with at least 600 transactions per month for its beta program.
Not HootSuite, it’s Hoot.me, an Austin, TX based startup working on an interactive knowledge network. Hoot.me plans to put Facebook into study mode by connecting you with friends for homework and projects. Hoot.me offers useful tips like: “Sometimes you just need to share what you’re working on. Hoot lets you share your screen inside Facebook with no extra installation.” and “Hoot lets you video conference inside of Facebook, so you can work face-to-face. Up to 8 people at once, perfect for group projects.”
KeepIdeas, based in New York, NY, allows consumers to organize and collaborate on decisions in the cloud. A social “Evernote for verticals” if you will. KeepIdeas was formerly KeepRecipes, which hosts over 10,000 recipes, pictures, and links for foodies, bloggers, caterers, moms, chefs and nutritionists.
LearnBop, hailing from the fertile grounds of Pittsburgh, PA, is an online adaptive learning platform, currently in open beta. It bills itself as an education technology company that enables experts to create educational content with hints and feedback messages that respond to student behaviors, as the experts themselves normally would. It enables experts to achieve this using familiar web technologies that are accessible on personal computers and smartphones.
LetsGiftIt is a local New York, NY company that operates a social gifting platform; a way for friends, family, and coworkers to contribute towards the purchase of a gift for someone special. It’s a platform complete with an eCommerce Plugin, Custom Facebook Page App Development, and simple integration of full iFrame solution. The web app lets you socialize the buying experience by offering a Group Gifting functionality on your Gift Registry, Wish-List, or Product Pages, as well as generate incremental revenue while maintaining an on-brand, high quality customer experience.
Re-Vinyl, a Los Angeles, California based startup, seems to have pivoted during the program since it wasn’t on the original startup list published in May. Re-Vinyl is mobile publishing for the entertainment industry. Its platform connects musicians and related brands to their fans to increase fan engagement and revenue opportunities for the band and brands. Within this context, Re-Vinyl’s platform is for musicians and related brands to tell and sell their story on their terms and includes a toolkit where fans can collaboratively remix, respond, and purchase musical content.
Pandaly, from Philadlephia, PA is another suspected pivot for the aforementioned reason. And it’s somehow found itself in the daily deals space…billing itself as “the fun way to find deals.” According to DreamIt, Pandaly is a voting and gaming solution for demand-driven deals. The platform lets you earn points to unlock features and get more discounts, get deal recommendations based on your preferences and share with friends and see what others are buying.
Pictour.us from Honduras! This sounds awesome! This startup is essentially a mobile app for creating photo tours. Another suspected pivot, Pictour.us lets you “Discover the world through authentic experiences and Explore your passions.” A vintage weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Yes, please.
TakeTheInterview from Boston, MA is a cloud-based video interviewing platform for employers to more efficiently screen candidates. Sounds serious? It is. And it’s seems pretty efficient. Danielle Weinblatt, CEO of TTI explains that an employer can login and create one interview for 50 candidates. Interview questions are emailed to all 50 candidates who will then use a webcam to record their answers and upload a video. The employer will have a dashboard interface to review all 50 responses without the hassle of scheduling individual times for interviews. Seems slightly impersonal, but if you’re a huge recruiting firm, it could be a huge time saver before having to set up a face-to-face interview.
We’ll have much more in store for you tomorrow, and later this weekend, after we meet the startups and execs behind DreamIt Venture’s Demo Day for its first New York City class. Stay tuned.
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