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This article was published on December 8, 2011

The 5 Most Promising Startups from Philly’s DreamIt Ventures

The 5 Most Promising Startups from Philly’s DreamIt Ventures
Harrison Weber
Story by

Harrison Weber

Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

Philadelphia’s DreamIt Ventures just graduated 14 startups from it’s 2011 class. All of them presented at demo day today, and are now playing the field, searching for traction and securing funding as they go off on their own.

This year (DreamIt Venture’s 5th class) is particularly special, featuring several (rather awesome) minority-led startups in collaboration with Comcast Ventures. The 5 most promising graduates tackle a myriad of problems, from politics to dating and big data. Learn more below:


ElectNext makes politics personal by helping you discover candidates that share your values. It wants to be the “eHarmony for elections.”

To get started, you connect via Twitter or Facebook (or make your own an account), and select the issues that matter most to you. Topics range from energy to gun laws and gay rights. Then, answer 6 questions and view your candidate matches for both presidential and local office. If you don’t find them to be accurate enough, you’re able to go back and answer more questions.

The ElectNext interface is hardly perfect, and could use a few aesthetic refinements. That said, the idea is strong and could become a leading way for busy people to follow campaigns and make informed decisions.


Flirq puts girls in charge, in a fresh take on online dating. Their goal is to alter your impression of online dating from “sketchy and creepy” to “fun and flirty.” Guys definitely take the back seat here, where the girl picks the guys and consults her friends, while the guys hope to pass her test.

The site is currently in private beta right now, but you can register for an early invite.


Kwelia helps renters and landlords find the true market value of any apartment. For renters, Kwelia makes it relatively easy to search for specific apartments (their database is growing, and Manhattan focused), and if they have been offered a good deal. For Landlords, the site removes the guesswork when setting rent prices for residential properties.

Check out their blog to see the best deals Kwelia uncovered during the past few weeks.


metaLayer bills itself as the “photoshop for data”, allowing users to create sophisticated mash-ups of big data sets by simply dragging and dropping any type of structured or unstructured data such as feeds, image galleries, documents and Twitter accounts.

TNW Editor Courtney Boyd Myers recently covered:

The result is the ability to create complex workflows and contrast datasets with charts and graphs, which metaLayer co-founder Jonathan D. Gosier hopes will be helpful to journalists, data analysts and NGOs who don’t have the staff or resources to pay for expensive data analysis products.


Qwite helps customers provide feedback to local businesses using their mobile app. Businesses can then reward returning customers and try to reach dissatisfied ones before it’s too late. The idea, which feels like a mashup of Foursquare’s deals and customer surveys, has a chance of sticking if Qwite can refine it’s image and target a few small markets, head-on.

The app is currently available for Android, and will be launching on iOS soon.

Let us know your favorite in the comments!