PHILADELPHIA – Comcast Interactive Capital, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies, today announced that is has partnered with DreamIt Ventures (“DreamIt”), the leading technology accelerator for entrepreneurs, to provide seed funding, training, mentoring and other benefits to five minority-led startups through DreamIt’s accelerator program.
The partnership with DreamIt, entitled the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP), is Comcast Interactive Capital’s first investment initiative from the $20 million fund created by Comcast as part of the NBCUniversal transaction that is committed to expanding opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.
Comcast Interactive Capital and DreamIt are now accepting applications and will select five minority-led startups to participate in DreamIt’s three-month accelerator program taking place in Philadelphia this fall. The deadline for applications is July 8th and the program will commence on September 9th.
“Diversity is a cornerstone of Comcast’s culture and we are proud to have Comcast Interactive Capital partner with DreamIt in this first investment from our $20 million fund focused on expanding opportunities for minority entrepreneurs,” said Payne Brown, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Comcast Corporation. “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.”
Kerry Rupp, Managing Director of DreamIt, said, “We are thrilled to have Comcast Interactive Capital as a partner and are looking forward to working with them. DreamIt is proud to provide assistance and opportunities to help entrepreneurs grow, and we know that Comcast will provide invaluable expertise and partnership to this process.”
Comcast Interactive Capital and DreamIt also announced today that William Crowder will serve as Managing Director responsible for overseeing and operating MEAP. Mr. Crowder founded Growth Strategy Advisors, a strategy consulting and business development firm, and previously served in a variety of business development and strategic planning roles at AOL.
Crowder said, “I am truly excited about the opportunity DreamIt Ventures and Comcast Interactive Capital are providing to minority entrepreneurs. The challenge for many startups and their founders, particularly those from minority communities, is one of access and opportunity.
MEAP responds to this need in superior fashion and we look forward to seeing what kind of entrepreneurial magic will be created as a result.”
MEAP will provide minority entrepreneurs with the opportunity to engage in an intensive, company-building experience. Applicants who are accepted into MEAP will be a part of DreamIt’s broader Fall 2011 initiative in Philadelphia and will be offered the opportunity to learn from, and be mentored by, recognized experts in marketing, brand building, business development, financial modeling, business plans, distribution and customer acquisitions.
In addition, they will be provided with office space, working alongside the other startups selected and be provided with donated legal, accounting and administrative help. At the end of the three-month period, the startups will have the opportunity to pitch to venture capital and angel investors at a demo day in Philadelphia to secure further funding to create a sustainable business.
Comcast Corporation is one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.
Comcast Interactive Capital is a venture capital fund focused on broadband, interactive and enterprise businesses. CIC is affiliated with Comcast Corporation, a diversified global leader in cable, broadband services, communications, media, and entertainment. CIC’s primary goal is to generate superior financial returns from venture capital investments in early and growth-stage technology, consumer and services businesses. To achieve this goal, CIC works to enable the success of its portfolio companies by applying the unique resources, contacts, experience, and insight of both CIC and the Comcast family of companies.
DreamIt Ventures is a pre-seed stage venture firm, with the goal of helping great people with great ideas build great companies. DreamIt provides the aspiring entrepreneurs that it selects with pre-seed funding, services from leading law firms and accounting firms, mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs, access to capital, and a creative, rigorous environment to bring innovative business ideas to market. DreamIt was founded in 2007 by three successful technology entrepreneurs who want to create the same type of opportunities that they were fortunate to have had themselves for the next wave of entrepreneurs.