When DreamIt Ventures ends, it's taking its startups on a VC roadshow - Technical.ly Philly

Business

Apr. 1, 2015 12:34 pm

When DreamIt Ventures ends, it’s taking its startups on a VC roadshow

DreamIt is scaling back its traditional Demo Day in favor of meeting investors where they are. New York City, Boston and San Francisco are on the itinerary.
The DreamIt Ventures Philly Fall 2014 class, on demo day.

The DreamIt Ventures Philly Fall 2014 class, on demo day.

(Photo courtesy of DreamIt Ventures)

The culminating event of every DreamIt Ventures class is Demo Day.

In Philadelphia, that takes the form of a packed house at World Cafe Live with a marathon of pitches from each startup graduating from the accelerator, plus presentations from successful DreamIt alumni (and sometimes, a comedic interpretation of a pitch).

But this year, instead of the standard demo day, the accelerator is taking the show on the road.

DreamIt plans to host a smaller, investor-focused event at First Round Capital on April 20, then head to New York City, Boston and San Francisco for startups to meet with venture capitalists, said managing partner Patrick FitzGerald.

The idea behind the four-day roadshow is meeting venture capitalists where they are. Maybe an investor can’t make demo day. Maybe they don’t want to sit through a few hours of pitches. (Plus, Demo Days of yore have not just been investor-focused but also friends and family-focused, and DreamIt wondered, is that really our target audience for this type of event?)

Instead of a one-size-fits-all method, why not tailor the pitching experience to each startup and investor? Startups will go straight to the firms instead of pitching at an all-encompassing demo days. That personal touch is more efficient and intimate, FitzGerald said.

To prep for the trip, DreamIt sent information about each startup to 200 venture capital firms to gauge interest. DreamIt staff also worked with startups to see which firm they were interested in meeting, then they did some matching work. FitzGerald joked that the process was a little like Tinder.

The startups will meet with firms like General Catalyst Partners, FirstMark Capital (an Artisan Mobile investor), Andreessen Horowitz, Highland Capital Partners and Institutional Venture Partners.

DreamIt did a similar, smaller-scale effort for last year’s class, flying startups out to Silicon Valley to meet with 10 venture firms on Sand Hill Road. The response was “overwhelming,” FitzGerald said. “They said, ‘Why haven’t we seen you guys before?'” That inspired the full-on roadshow.

Advertisement

Last year’s DreamIt class set the tone for a reversal: Philly DreamIt companies traditionally did not stay in the city, but last year’s class overwhelmingly did — and were vocal about it. FitzGerald himself said that he had “sold Philly really hard” to the entrepreneurs. Might the roadshow be selling the founders on other cities?

FitzGerald said no.

“Most of the companies went on their own private roadshow anyway,” he said, like 2014 DreamIt Philly startup Baloonr, which fundraised in New York and San Francisco after graduating from the accelerator.

You must appreciate accurate, relevant and productive community journalism.  Support this sort of work from professional reporters with seasoned editors.  Become a Technical.ly member for $12 per month -30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

3 resources to help vetrepreneurs start their own businesses in Greater Philadelphia

Brooklyn-born LIFT Labs Accelerator startup NICKL is moving its HQ to Philly

Tech startups: Launch Lane accelerator is now accepting apps for its inaugural cohort

SPONSORED

Philly

How ShopRunner’s mentorship program is pushing its employees to think beyond their fields

Philadelphia

Inspire

Manager, People Operations

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Sr. Software Engineer

Apply Now

Blue Bell, PA

Pinnacle 21

Senior Software Engineers

Apply Now

Apps are open for Philly Startup Leaders’ new idea-stage accelerator cohort

These startups won big money at PACT’s live, ‘Shark Tank’-like pitch event

Penn Nursing is hosting a yearlong innovation accelerator

SPONSORED

Philly

How Relay is helping enterprise clients get proactive about customer engagement

Philadelphia

Vistar Media

Front End Engineer

Apply Now

Philadelphia, Pa

Inspire

Event Sales Ambassador

Apply Now

Philadelphia

Linode

Systems Engineer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!