Comcast is looking to give minority start-up businesses a boost. Comcast Interactive Capital, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, has announced it has partnered with DreamIt Ventures, the technology accelerator for entrepreneurs, to provide seed funding, training, mentoring and other benefits to five minority-led startups through DreamIt’s accelerator program.
Comcast Interactive Capital and DreamIt are now accepting applications (www.dreamitventures.com/about/Comcast-MEAP.php) through July 8th and ultimately will choose five minority-led startups to participate in DreamIt’s three-month accelerator program starting September 9th.
“The Comcast team and DreamIt had been looking for some interesting ways to work together. I know Comcast Ventures was well aware of DreamIt’s activities, had been impressed with what DreamIt and the partners had done previously with early stage companies and saw a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with a great team,” William Crowder, managing director of DreamIt Ventures, explains.
And the partnership with DreamIt, entitled Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP), is Comcast Interactive Capital’s first investment initiative from the $20 million fund created by Comcast as part of the NBCUniversal transaction that is committed to expanding opportunities for minority entrepreneurs.
Through MEAP, minority entrepreneurs will be mentored by recognized experts in marketing, brand building, business development, financial modeling, business plans, distribution and customer acquisitions.
“I believe the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program is critical to entrepreneurship, especially high growth-potential entrepreneurship,” says Crowder. “Right now, the face of that type of entrepreneurship is not particularly diverse. Recent research studies have suggested that minority representation in venture-backed startups is barely visible. These startups can be the job-creating engine of our economy and in some cases they have the potential to change things on a global scale. It’s imperative that these new companies incorporate, reflect, and represent the diversity of our nation in their leadership, products, and strategies so that their full potential is reached.”
The startups will be provided with office space as well as legal, accounting and administrative help. At the end of the three-month period, the startups will have the opportunity to pitch to venture capital and angel investors.
“The overarching goal for DreamIt Ventures is to help great people with great ideas build great companies. That is the overarching goal for MEAP as well but it will be tailored to doing so for its minority-led companies,” says Crowder. “In addition, the Comcast MEAP will seek to: 1- Introduce and attract more minority-led startups and entrepreneurs to the accelerator concept. Our accelerator creates a collaborative environment in which everyone is working to help the companies be as successful as possible and in a very short period of time; 2- Develop a program that is tailored to meet the unique needs of minority-led companies within the broader accelerator experience. We will be providing a more diverse collection of mentors, guest speakers, and investors who can offer different perspectives to enhance the entire accelerator program. With Comcast as our partner, the selected companies will have access to additional mentors and advisors with deep operational experience and Comcast’s vast resources and capabilities in the media space. All of these work together to create an unmatched growth experience for the entrepreneurs and the companies they’re building.”