This week, startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures kicked off its Winter 2015 class in Philadelphia and the first run of its accelerator for women, DreamIt Athena.
Announced in November, DreamIt Athena is a special program for women-led startups. Companies selected join the regular DreamIt cohort and get access to the same resources – including $25,000 in funding and office space – plus a few perks tailored to 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.
Five startups were selected for the first DreamIt Athena:
- Forecastr (Detroit, MI): Cloud-based, ready-made analytics and predictive recommendations specifically tailored for television executives. Founded by Jessica McGlory and Ross Edwards. Also part of DreamIt Access, which supports minority-led startups.
- LIA Diagnostics (Philadelphia): A flushable pregnancy test that aims to help women address the challenges surrounding privacy, usability, and sustainability in current tests. Founded by Bethany Edwards, Frances DiMare, Sarah Rottenberg, and Anna Couturier.
- Ohneka Farms (Mount Laurel, NJ): A social enterprise focusing on urban farming products and services. They are developing ROOT, a smart countertop planter that enables users to grow organic edible plants in their home with minimal maintenance. Founded by Brielle Pettinelli and Eric De Feo.
- Roar For Good (Philadelphia): A social impact company with the mission of reducing assaults against women through wearable technology, empowerment, and education. The initial product line combines fashionable, self-defense jewelry and mobile technology to reduce the incidences of assault against women. Founded by Yasmine Mustafa.
- Captain Planner (Boston): A trip planner that aggregates information on attractions, restaurants, events, and reviews, and generates map-based itineraries. Founded by Jennifer Wong. Also part of DreamIt Access.
The DreamIt Athena startups will be joining five other companies:
- Bungalow Insurance (San Diego): An independent renters insurance platform that aims to better improve insurance experiences for millennials. Founded by Zachary Stiefler and Thomas Austin.
- Commit Analytics (King of Prussia, PA): Its machine learning algorithms design data-driven solutions for athletes and health-conscious consumers to help optimize performance. Founded by Dan Dingman, Nico Gimenez, and Dan Crescimanno.
- IglooHome (Singapore): Smart home technologies that help Airbnb hosts welcome guests in a way that improves convenience, safety, and cost. Founded by Anthony Chow, Walter Wang Yue, Kelvin Ho, and Sharon Goh.
- LocoRobo (Philadelphia): A non-profit robotics company whose mission is to provide educational and scientific training in robotics to promote STEM education and workforce development. Founded by Pramod Abichandani, Kyle Levin, and Zachary Haubach.
- Whose Your Landlord (Elliott City, MD): A website and mobile app where renters rate their landlords and housing complexes, and help others find their next home. Founded by Ofo Ezeugwu, Felix Addison, and Nik Korablin. Also part of DreamIt Access.