Yesterday, DreamIt Ventures announced the launch of an accelerator for women founders called DreamIt Athena, which kicks off in Philadelphia next spring.
DreamIt, which is ranked the #9 or #15 top startup accelerator depending whom you ask, believes they are the first top-tier accelerator to launch a program for women.
“Access to a valuable network, mentors, and early-stage capital are the critical resources that are largely unavailable to aspiring female founders,” says Karen Griffith Gryga, managing partner of DreamIt. “We see a huge opportunity for women-founded startups, and we want to change the conversation.”
Startups will get the regular DreamIt perks, which include $25,000 in funding and office space. But they’ll also get resources targeted specifically at women founders, including:
- Curriculum and speakers on the challenges for women entrepreneurs.
- Access to mentors through Springboard Enterprises, a network of experts who want to help women launch tech startups.
- Access to funding through Golden Seeds, an angel group that focuses on women-led businesses.
DreamIt Athena is funded by a grant of nearly $500,000 from the State of Pennsylvania’s Discovered and Developed in PA Program (D2PA).
This is the second demographic-specific program for DreamIt: in 2011, they launched DreamIt Access to support ethnic minority founders. They also run regular accelerator programs in Philadelphia, Austin, New York, and Baltimore.
To join DreamIt Athena, apply here by December 8.