Why Kerry Rupp is stepping down as DreamIt Ventures CEO [Startup Roundup]

Plus: Here's who we spotted doing some old-fashioned, offline marketing.

startup roundup


Kerry Rupp, CEO of accelerator DreamIt Ventures, is stepping down from her operating role after almost five years with the firm, she announced this weekend. She’ll continue to be an investor in DreamIt companies. Rupp led DreamIt Philly in 2010 and 2011 but has long been based in Austin.

She’s on the search for her next venture. In an email to Philly, Rupp wrote: “I miss my time working with companies on their products going to market. As such, I am turning over the reins to DreamIt Founder Steve Welch. I am going to move over to work on the fund and with our companies in the fund.”

David Hamme, who used to do marketing for web dev firm Zivtech (including the company’s PhillyDevCamp), left Philly for San Francisco to study at — yep, a dev camp called App Academy. Check his blog out here.

Speaking of PhillyDevCamp — the city-backed developer bootcamp that Zivtech and Neomind Labs hosted — Zivtech hired two of the students from the first class: Hiu Suen (Allison) Law and Jason Oscar.

Cloudamize, the Center City cloud optimization startup, hired a new COO, hailing from Austin, Texas: Jonathan Kanarek, whose resume includes Compaq, Hewlett Packard and most recently, cloud solutions provider Nimbo. Also new to the company is Gabrielle Smith, who will lead business development. Smith used to work at Amazon Web Services. See the full release here.

Beacon & Lively CEO Dave Becker is going to speak at this New York City conference, along with other wearable tech founders, including the CEO of Brooklyn’s Ringly.

See how Lifevest Health celebrated Halloween.



Skyless Games, a socially-minded gaming company founded by recent Drexel grads, gave 16-year-old Josh Vickery a taste of the indie game industry last Friday. Vickery, a student at cybercharter Commonwealth Connections Academy, talked with Skyless cofounder Chris Bennett about what it’s like to be a game designer and met the company’s undergrad developers.

It was part of a job exploration program run by All About Abilities, which serves youth with special needs. Vickery, who is autistic, wants to be a game developer. He’s built one game so far, his own version of Pong (and yes, we definitely told him about Pong on the Cira Centre). Skyless offered him an internship as a game tester.

Mike Kelly, who runs All About Abilities, said the job exploration program is about fighting the stereotype that those with special needs should be bagging groceries or washing dishes.



We spotted two Philly startups doing some old-fashioned marketing this week. Check out the ads from Drexel ecommerce startup goPuff, as seen on the University City District’s LUCY buses. goPuff did not respond to a request for comment.


(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

DreamIt Ventures startup Pico, which offers a collaborative photo album, hit the streets on Halloween to give out candy and try to collect some users. We ran into them right around the corner from 3401 Market Street, where they have office space during DreamIt. One cofounder even wore a wig. The team behind Pico is from Israel and they said they hope to stay in Philly. It’s dependent on funding, though.

pico app

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)


Well, not exactly. But Marvin Weinberger, the new head of Callowhill incubator/coworking space Venturef0rth, is looking for musicians to perform at future Venturef0rth events. He wrote on the Philly Startup Leaders listserv:

Now that I’m settling in as commander-in-chief (not the official title :)) of VentureF0rth one of my hopes is to bring live music to our events.  Looking for terrific acoustic musicians interested to perform a short set at the start of some of our public presentations (as well as on some dedicated music nights). No cash, but free beer and exposure.  Think of it as ‘Live at VentureF0rth’.

Also looking for the donation of a nice upright piano.

For those who don’t know, my original college training was as a concert violinist. I also love Klezmer music and am a volunteer with Musicians on Call.

Companies: Beacon & Lively / Cloudamize / DreamIt Ventures / Venturef0rth / Zivtech

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