Penn State World Campus, Penn State’s online arm, will partner with DreamIt’s new edtech accelerator, the venture firm announced Monday.
It’s a similar model to DreamIt Health in Philadelphia, which had two industry partners (Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine) that acted as potential customers and advisors to participating companies. Founders have spoken highly of the industry partner model, saying that it led to crucial pilot programs to test out their products and that execs helped them navigate the healthcare scene. More industry partners will be announced in 2016, a spokeswoman said.
Applications for DreamIt EdTech (as well as DreamIt Health and other programs) are now open. The accelerator starts March 16 and does not have a residency requirement.
Partnering with the online arm of Penn State seems to fit DreamIt’s new philosophy of embracing the “global economy” and focusing less on location (hence, the lack of residency requirement). DreamIt will offer a virtual curriculum for DreamIt EdTech.
It’ll be interesting to see if DreamIt EdTech’s other partners are local. The location of DreamIt Health’s industry partners seemed crucial to the program: companies would relocate to Philadelphia for the accelerator and be able to get pilot programs up and running with local partners. Those pilots would anchor participating startups. Will that change since the accelerators no longer have residency requirements?