How to get into DreamIt

How to get into DreamIt? Over 600+ applications were submitted to DreamIt Ventures, the Startup accelerator in New York City, back in 2012. When Saborstudio was selected, they became a part of a 15 startup generation. Based on the experience gained during that summer, we share a bit of what it was like to have been accepted into DreamIt.

As a start-up buff or community mem~ber, we’re sure you’ll find this story useful to draw your own conclusions as to how to tackle your upcoming DreamIt experience.

Enough previews.

FIRST OF ALL: WHAT IS DREAMIT?

Through 3 diverse programs, this accelerator currently focuses on what they have named as UrbanTech, SecureTech, and HealthTech. Respectively, the areas referred to real estate and construction tech followed by cyber, social, and physical security while topped with digital health, medical device, and diagnostics startups.

Having accelerated over 320 startups since 2008, DreamIt claims to have allowed the companies in their portfolio to “have raised over $800 million in follow-on funding and have a combined valuation of over $2 billion.”

With those fundamentals out of the way, let’s get to the actual juice of this blog entry.

How to get into Dreamit

HOW TO GET INTO DREAMIT?

We’ve been there, and we’ve succeeded. Let us tell you how we think people should make their way into DreamIt.

WHAT WE KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE

Contrary to us, most of the companies that got accepted in the program already had a working product and were ready to launch. For our CEO Caya, and in accordance to this article where he talks about Slidebean’s experience with accelerators, “The most successful company out of our batch was Headout, which truly leveraged the program to get traction in NY.” You might find that an interesting read from here, as well, by the way.

So back in 2011, Caya founded the game that was released on the App Store on October 2012. It was actually Techcrunch and CNN the ones who first considered the Kickstarter-funded iOS game as ‘The Next Angry Birds’ after 300,000 downloads.

Along with raving reviews, those downloads had already managed to get some paid users out of the App Store. Without secured funding round, though, Caya moved on from a shelved app to Slidebean. Fortunately, Caya also applied to an accelerator again and was welcomed back with his new company. We can discuss that in an upcoming article later.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

Why is that, do you say? The main and quite obvious need for these kinds of programs is for the admitted startups not only to make sense but to actually be able to prove some traction.

This makes a big difference from state-funded accelerators, but, since DreamIt is not one of them, let us focus on that in a separate read when we discuss StartUp Chile next.

TRACTION MATTERS

Though we were an isolated case for our generation, the truth is that most startups already have a product by the time they start the program. Whoever is brought into the office as part of DreamIt is or should be able to actually show and discuss their product with the diverse mentors and investors; which bears in itself a clear advantage. For us, it certainly would have made a big difference had that been our case by the time we started the program.

In fact, if we could only highlight a single most important lesson from DreamIt, it would be to not use the time spent in the accelerator in product development. The actual time spent in the program is too short and valuable for that.

HOW PRIVATELY-FUNDED, US-BASED ACCELERATORS WORK

So, take that into account when thinking of an application to one of these programs. If the accelerators focus on building successful companies that give them a return on investment, then your company needs to show the most likelihood of successfully walking out their door. You don’t need to prove flawlessness; it’s understandable that every generation will have a company or some that simply fail at raising seed capital to probably die shortly after having taken part in the schedule. But the bet is to the most amount of start-ups succeeding.

Pitch Deck Design

HEADS-UP FOR THE ROAD

ON HOMELESSNESS

SWEET LOVING BEFORE YOU GO

Pitch Deck Design

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