Sports Apps, ‘Telemedicine’ for Business Among DreamIt Startups

DreamIt Ventures kicks off its second Austin program today with a slate of nine startups—some coming to the Texas capital from as far as Bangalore and Sweden.

The international entrepreneurs will join their stateside peers for a 12-week accelerator program that includes a dedicated mentor matched to each startup’s niche. The DreamIt program invests $25,000 and takes a 6 percent common-stock stake in each startup, as well as the right to invest in first funding rounds.

DreamIt does not focus on choosing Texas companies for the Austin program, and had none in last year’s first class. This year, however, it does have one each based in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, says Kerry Rupp, a DreamIt managing partner in charge of the Austin program.

“It’s not for a lack of [Texas] companies applying; we just don’t look at location for picking them,” she says. “We want to bring new talent to the ecosystem here. And it allows us to co-exist with the Capital Factory, which is totally focused on Austin companies.”

Capital Factory is a co-working space, incubator, and seed accelerator in Austin founded by Joshua Baer, a serial entrepreneur in e-mail startups and an Xconomist. The Boulder, CO-based TechStars also opened an Austin program last year.

DreamIt, which is based in Philadelphia, will also launch a program in Baltimore next week that focuses on health startups in partnership with Northrop Grumman and Johns Hopkins University. Founded in 2007, DreamIt also runs accelerators in its home city, New York, and Israel.

Some of those programs are focused on a specific business sector. For example,  the new Baltimore accelerator targets healthcare startups, and it has specialized tracks in edtech in New York and Philadelphia.

“I can see a ‘2015 Health’ ” in Texas, Rupp says, including Houston, home of the Texas Medical Center, one of the world’s largest medical centers.

Here are the startups in the Austin class:

Cheggin (Boston): A social sports app that allows fans to interact in real-time.

CollaborateCloud (Bangalore): An online work management platform.

eyeQ (Austin): Software for brick-and-mortar retail to harness e-commerce intelligence.

Notorious (New York, by way of Madrid and Fortaleza, Brazil): One-to-one advice from in-house beauty and fashion experts.

Octane Lending (Washington, DC): Online “super lender form” to apply to multiple lenders at the same time for powersports loans.

Stereo (New York, by way of San Antonio, TX, and Sao Paolo, Brazil): Alternative audio for sports and entertainment on TV played on your phone.

Swan (Dallas): Beauty services delivered instantly.

TeleCog (Houston): A “telemedicine” web platform for professional services such as accounting and financial planning.

UserApp (Lund, Sweden): User management in the cloud.


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