The folks at DreamIt Ventures want to make one thing clear: they aren’t going anywhere.
The early-stage technology incubator that has called the University City Science Center home for the past three years announced last week that it will be opening a second incubator in New York City. However, DreamIt’s partners are adamant that the Philly incubator will remain the program’s headquarters.
“The applicants are getting stronger every year,” says managing partner Steve Welch. “We felt we were turning away good companies.”
DreamIt believes that the New York startup community is growing quickly so an expansion to the 67th Ward is natural fit. Despite the presence of TechStars, DreamIt isn’t worried about being an also-ran.
“Every accelerator represents just a fraction of the total companies out there,” says Welch who added that many DreamIt alums currently live in New York City.
The incubator is expanding despite not seeing returns from its current crop of portfolio companies. While there are several cash flow positive DreamIt grads, none has reached an exit other than Scribnia (sold a few months into the program by the team that went on to create SeatGeek). So is DreamIt taking a risk by expanding before seeing any returns?
“That’s what entrepreneurship is,” says Welch.
After the jump we run down some facts about the incubator’s move:
- Welch says to expect more companies in the Philadelphia incubator.
- Philadelphia will start in the Fall.
- NYC will begin in the Summer
- DreamIt is also considering expanding to other cities, though it has nothing in mind for the immediate future.
- Several people have already reached out about helming DreamIt NYC, says Welch.
- Kerry Rupp will be returning to DreamIt this year.