Venture capital

Dreamit gets $12 million via new partner Jeff Vinik

The owner of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning has an investment background and is increasing his role with the Philly-based venture fund and accelerator.

Dreamit's 2015 demo day at the Cozen O'Connor offices in One Liberty Place. (Courtesy photo)

Dreamit Ventures is adding a heap of funding to its VC war chest, thanks to investor, real estate developer and hockey-team owner Jeff Vinik.

The ’90s-era manager of Fidelity’s famed Magellan Fund is pumping $12 million into Dreamit. The move will likely expand the accelerator’s presence in Florida, where Vinik owns the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Vinik, who had been involved with Dreamit as early as 2016 with its UrbanTech program, will now become the firm’s newest partner and board member.

“Because of the way we structure our program and the value we bring to startups, we see an increase in the volume and quality of startups looking to get into Dreamit,” Managing Partner Darren Sandberg told “The additional capital allows us to take advantage of working with more startups by expanding our existing verticals as well as launching additional verticals.”

Dreamit has long focused on the health sector, taking a stake in participating startups in exchange for funding and resources. Early on, Dreamit concentrated on defined geographies (see: DreamIt Health Baltimore) but has moved away from regionalism in recent years. According to company literature, Dreamit now also focuses on “startups that are transforming the built environment” — a sweet spot for Vinik, who is codeveloping a major, $3-billion real estate project in Tampa with Cascade Investment, the investment fund of Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

“Jeff is a visionary business leader who drives results,” Dreamit Managing Partner Steve Barsh said in a statement.

Vinik told the Inquirer’s Joe DiStefano that the decision to join Dreamit boiled down to the people involved. “I’m involved in a lot of private investments. It’s a big hurdle to go into business with anybody,” he said. “The board members and the executives and the business model and the worthy objectives are really impressive. This will help our development and the whole innovation system in Tampa Bay.”

Companies: DreamIt Health / DreamIt Ventures

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