SOURCE: Startl


February 07, 2011 07:00 ET

Startl and DreamIt Ventures Accepting Applications for Second Annual Start-Up Accelerator Program

Selected Early-Stage Education Technology Companies Will Participate in Three-Month Residency Program in New York City During Summer 2011

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - February 7, 2011) - Startl, a nonprofit created to identify and ramp up education technology companies and their innovations, and DreamIt Ventures, the leading technology accelerator, announced today that they are accepting applications for their second annual start-up accelerator program. The collaborative program, which began in 2010, will give a select group of early-stage education technology companies the opportunity to participate in a three-month residency in New York City that will provide an immersion into design methods and business practices for seed-stage learning companies. Startl Accelerator, a component of DreamIt Accelerator Program, helps promising entrepreneurs in the education space to evolve and refine their innovative products so that they can be brought to market quickly, scaled affordably and modified rapidly. The program pushes old boundaries to advance a whole new class of products and services for learners.

"This is an exciting time for education entrepreneurism. The first year of our collaboration with DreamIt Ventures graduated a cohort of four companies, two of which have gone on to receive further outside funding," said Diana Rhoten, Startl Co-Founder and Managing Director. "The Startl Accelerator Program provides a pathway for talented entrepreneurs to build viable new companies that can deliver novel products and services into the hands of learners."

"We are thrilled to be out the gate with the next phase of our partnership. Year one with Startl was a great success and moving the program to NYC allows us to take advantage of the talent and opportunities there while offering the New York tech community the benefit of the blended Startl and DreamIt acceleration models for creating great young companies," said David Bookspan, Founder and Managing Partner of DreamIt Ventures.

The Startl Accelerator Program offers young entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage in an intensive, company-building experience. Accepted applicants are integrated into the regular Summer 2011 DreamIt program and offered the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by recognized experts in marketing, business development, financial modeling, business models, brand building, distribution and customer acquisition, with a special emphasis on the education technology industry. The outcome of the experience is a pitch day where each team has the opportunity to present to a room full of potential investors.

"Programs like the one Startl has developed are essential to ensuring that the best and the brightest entrepreneurs get to market as quickly and smartly as possible, especially in markets like education where innovation has been elusive," said Fred Wilson, Principal at Union Square Ventures. "I'm excited that Startl and DreamIt will be running their Accelerator Program in NYC this summer. There's a lot of startup activity in NYC these days, but not enough -- never enough -- to support the kind of high-growth entrepreneurship this city needs."

The program was created in an effort to help innovative companies turn a great idea into a refined product that can be taken to market successfully. The Startl accelerator is a cash-less program that provides learning entrepreneurs a 24/7 collaborative environment with other start-up entrepreneurs, plus free access to attorneys, accountants and investors, as well as the layered programmatic expertise of companies like IDEO.

"For an early-stage digital learning company like Easel, the DreamIt/Startl program was a perfect fit. Besides the advice and funding, what blew our minds was the depth of their network within the educational space: it seemed like whichever educational company or organization we wanted to talk to, Startl could provide an intro," said San Kim, Founder and CEO of Easel, a digital learning startup and participant in the 2010 Startl Accelerator program. "So even in the beginning stages of our company we were able to develop relationships with educational giants. For any EdTech startup that kind of insider access is priceless -- and represents an enormous competitive advantage."

For more information and to apply, visit

Startl is a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating the growth of digital innovations for learning -- from kindergarten to college, inside and outside the classroom. Focused on catalyzing next generation products with the greatest promise of transforming the education sector and the learning market, Startl recruits young innovators and entrepreneurs, immerses them in a rigorous product design and development process and helps them build socially responsible and fiscally sustainable start-ups. Startl has received initial seed funding from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Lumina Foundation. For more information, visit

About DreamIt Ventures
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. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available online at via email at

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