Key Dates for the Program
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 their vertical-specific Managing Director and Program Manager to strategize, pressure test ideas, refine core business components, get ready to meet with customers, and make sure the team is prepared for intense investor meetings. During key dates, founders must commit to traveling with the Dreamit team and other members of the cohort.
Dreamit Kickoff | March 25 - 29, 2019 | This is an opportunity for you to bond with the other members of the cohort and the Dreamit team. During this week we’ll do our first deep dive into your business so we can understand your strengths and weakness. As well, you’ll hear 6 - 10 talks from Dreamit leaders going over core concepts where we find most pre-Series A startups can use significant strengthening and that will greatly impact your long-term success. You will be required to be in with us this entire week but can use Friday as a travel day. The kickoff will take place in the US (city TBD).
Customer Sprint | April 29 - May 10, 2019 | During the 2-week Customer Sprint, you will pitch your startup to enterprise-level organizations in cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Tampa Bay. There will also be other opportunities throughout the program to meet with customers in other geographies.
Investor Sprint | June 17 - June 28, 2019 | 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 Sprint 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 Sprint, Dreamit startups receive intensive pitch prep and go through demanding mock-VC meetings. 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, as appropriate to their vertical, in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York City, and DC, Boston.
*Note: Dates subject to change slightly.
Do I have to do both weeks of Customer Sprints back-to-back?
Accepted startups must complete at least one week of the two-week Customer Sprint in the Dreamit cohort they are accepted into. We understand that some startups are so busy they don’t want to be on the road non-stop for 2 weeks meeting with potential customers. We allow founders to defer one week of the two-week Customer Sprint until a later accelerator cycle. For example, if you are accepted into the Spring cycle and want to defer one week of the Customer Sprint, you have the opportunity to join the next Fall startups during their Customer Sprint process. After you accept your Dreamit offer and as you begin the Dreamit kickoff week, approximately 4 weeks prior to when the Customer Sprint will occur, you will discuss with your Dreamit Managing Director and Program Manager your Customer Sprint options and if you want to defer one of the two weeks.
Can I defer my Investor Sprint? Do I have to do both Investor Sprint weeks back-to-back?
If you are not fundraising or have just completed a capital raise, you can defer the Investor Sprint until a future cohort of the accelerator, for up to one year. For example, if you are accepted into the Spring cycle and elect to defer the Investor Sprint, you would have the opportunity to join the Fall or following Spring Investor Sprint. As well, if you want to split up the two Investor Sprint weeks across cycles, you may do so. Some startups are so busy they don’t want to travel and meet with investors in their offices, nearly back-to-back, for two weeks. Or they want to take one week and “take the temperature” for a future round and then go out later for a week for the actual raise. After you accept your Dreamit offer and as you begin the Dreamit kickoff week, approximately 11 weeks prior to when the Investor Sprint will occur, you will discuss with your Dreamit Managing Director and Program Manager your Investor Sprint options and if you want to defer one or both of the two weeks of the Investor Sprint.
At what stage should my startup apply to Dreamit?
Dreamit is looking for startups that are ready to scale and have early revenue or pilots. 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.
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 the Customer Sprint and the Investor Sprint.
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 Sprint and Customer Sprint 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 and/or tech team 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 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 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 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 Sprint and Investor Sprint and the other home-city touch points which are typically four to five weeks out of the 14 week program. As well, you must become a US Delaware C-Corp to participate. If you are an Israeli company, we accept Israeli corporations without needing to convert to a US Delaware C-Corp.