Key Dates for the Program
You do not have to relocate to be part of Dreamit SecureTech. Dreamit is a hybrid accelerator model, with founders participating in the 14-week program both virtually and in person. Each week, founders will meet with Managing Director Bob Stasio to strategize and pressure test ideas. During certain key dates, founders must commit to traveling with the Dreamit team and other members of the cohort.
Dreamit SecureTech Kickoff | September 4-7 | This is an opportunity for you to bond with the other members of the cohort and the Dreamit team. You will be required to be in Tampa this entire week but can use Friday as a travel day.
Customer Immersions | October 8-19 | During the 2 weeks of “Customer Immersions,” you will pitch your startup to enterprise-level organizations in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Tampa Bay. There will also be other opportunities throughout the program to meet with customers in other geographies.
Investor Roadshow | November 26-December 7 | Dreamit’s 14-week cycle culminates in a highly curated, 2-week, bi-coastal series of one-on-one meetings with institutional investors in their offices. Dreamit’s Investor Roadshow is a faster, more efficient way to raise a round versus a typical “Demo Day” since at best, Demo Day can only lead to an investor meeting. In advance of the Investor Roadshow, Dreamit startups receive intensive pitch prep and go through demanding mock-VC interviews. Weeks in advance, Dreamit’s Platform team reaches out to our investor network to lock in and coordinate a bespoke multi-city Investor Roadshow for each startup. Typically, Dreamit startups have one-on-one investor meetings in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston.
*Note: Dates subject to change slightly.
What stage should my startup be at when we apply?
Dreamit is looking for startups with some early revenue or pilots that are ready to scale. If a startup does not meet these criteria, the team cannot take full advantage of the program which involves presenting to customers and forming partnerships with large organizations. Startups should also have at least 6 months of runway when entering the program.
When will I hear back if I’ve been accepted?
Startups can expect to hear back from the Dreamit team within a month of the application deadline with news about whether they have been selected to interview with the Dreamit team and customer partners. Please do not reach out to us directly to ask the status of your application -- we promise that we’re working on it and will be in touch. Unfortunately, due to the large volume of applications that we receive we generally cannot provide feedback on specific applications.
Our team reviews every application that we receive. If we have any questions, we’ll reach out to you directly for clarification. After we review all applications, we’ll begin to schedule final round interviews with select companies. You should receive an automated email confirming you have completed all steps of the process.
Tip: More than half of the applications come in on the final week, so if you want us to spend more time on your application, we strongly recommend that you apply early.
What are Dreamit Customer Immersions?
Dreamit SecureTech includes an ecosystem of the most innovative organizations looking for cutting-edge securetech solutions. Organizations will include corporations (e.g, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, banking, insurance, aerospace, real estate, consulting, accounting, communications, media & entertainment), military & defense, government agencies, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies. Roles you would meet with include Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Chief Security Officer (CSO), fraud investigation, head of security, threat hunting, threat intelligence, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, and more. The products these organizations use often become the industry standard. During two-weeks of Dreamit Customer Immersions, startups visit the offices of these organizations to meet senior decision makers, discuss pilots and sales and create partnerships.
What is the Investor Roadshow?
Dreamit’s 14-week cycle culminates in a highly curated, 2-week, bi-coastal series of one-on-one meetings with institutional investors in their offices. Dreamit’s Investor Roadshow is a faster, more efficient way to raise a round versus a typical “Demo Day” since at best, Demo Day can only lead to an investor meeting. In advance of the Investor Roadshow, Dreamit startups receive intensive pitch prep and go through demanding mock-VC interviews. Weeks in advance, Dreamit’s Platform team reaches out to our investor network to lock in and coordinate a bespoke multi-city investor roadshow for each startup. Typically, Dreamit startups have one-on-one investor meetings in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston.
How many members of my team need to actively participate in the program?
The CEO and at least one other key team member must be prepared to participate fully in the program, including all required preparation sessions as well as 2-weeks of Customer Immersions and the 2-week Investor Roadshow. These are intensive, multi-city events that require full-time commitment in order for you to make the most of these opportunities.
How can I set up a call with a member of the Dreamit team?
Complete the first page of the application here, and you will receive a message from a Dreamit team member. You can ask questions via email or request a time to speak over the phone.
How do I complete my application and confirm my application has submitted?
You will receive an automated email confirming submission at each of the six steps of the process. You can start the first step here.
Does Dreamit take equity in my company?
Dreamit has re-engineered the accelerator model to fit the needs of more mature startups. Our founder-friendly offer allows startups to participate without initial material dilution. The program is designed specifically for founders who are looking to increase the number of large, enterprise-level customers their companies have before raising their next material round of financing. The program also assumes that your company has sufficient capital to participate in the program or to achieve your next round of funding (approximately six months).
Upon joining the program, startups provide Dreamit with the following:
The right to invest up to $500K in your next round of funding at a 20% discount to the terms set by your lead investor. For example, if your next funding round is a $5M financing at a $15M pre-money valuation, Dreamit would have the right to take up to 10% of the round ($500K) at a $12M pre-money valuation (20% discount).
A $50K Convertible Security that will convert into your next round of funding with no discount. To be clear, this is not a cash investment in your company. In essence, this is a program fee to help us cover a portion of the program costs. Continuing with the example above, this $50K would convert at the $20M post-money valuation ($15M pre-money + the $5M raised), making it worth just 0.25% of your startup’s outstanding equity. Other than the Convertible Security mentioned above, there are no additional costs for companies to participate in the program. However, founders must cover their own travel costs for the Investor Roadshow and Customer Immersion program.
How many companies will you accept into the cohort?
We run a very hands-on program and spend a lot of time working one on one with each startup so we purposely limit the size of our cohorts to 8 to 12 companies within each industry vertical.
Do I need a tech co-founder / tech in-house?
Your odds of being accepted are much better if you have a technical co-founder on your team. We are strongly biased against outsourced development but we will still consider your application. Keep in mind that team is one of the areas we evaluate (perhaps the most important criteria) and you will be competing against teams with tech in-house, so it will be on you to convince us that you can move as fast and as effectively as they can.
Do you invest in companies that are competitive with each other?
We do our very best to avoid accepting competitive companies into the same cohort. However, pivots happen so it’s possible we will have a company in the same space in our portfolio. We make sure not to share sensitive data or information between companies that would be considered competitive.
Can I still apply if I’m not from the U.S.?
Yes! We receive applications from all over the world and typically accept 15-25% of our companies from outside the U.S. You must be able to visit the U.S., at minimum, for the duration of the Customer Immersions and Investor Roadshow and the other home-city touchpoints which are typically four to five weeks out of the 14 week program.