DreamIt, Comcast team to accelerate minority entrepreneurs

Know a minority entrepreneur with a great idea for a new business?

Thanks to some financial and mentoring support from Comcast Corp.'s venture capital arm, the fall "business accelerator" program of Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures Inc. will make sure five of the 15 companies chosen will be minority-led start-ups.

DreamIt will start its three-month program (which will be its fourth third in Philadelphia) in space at the University City Science Center in West Philadelphia Sept. 9. Interested businesses need to submit their applications online here by July 8.

Comcast Interactive Capital is providing $350,000 for what it is calling the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, which will operate like DreamIt's current model. Participating companies will receive $5,000 in cash, as well as $5,000 for each team member, up to four team members.

Payne Brown, vice president of strategic initiatives at Comcast had this to say about why the cable and Internet giant is participating:

Minority groups are under-represented in startup ventures and we believe supporting minority entrepreneurs through the DreamIt accelerator is an effective way to provide them with greater opportunities.

For those three months, those entrepreneurs have office space, work with mentors, and get advice from various professionals on writing business plans, acquiring customers and other aspects of building a business that will grow and grow quickly.

Be aware that DreamIt takes 6 percent equity in any company that it accept into its program. For those minority-led companies, that equity stake will be split with Comcast Interactive. Also, there is a ton of competition trying to get into these accelerators. DreamIt draws applicants from around the country.

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