I attended the kickoff reception for the Fall 2011 class of DreamIt Ventures on Friday at University City Science Center.
The 15-member class includes five minority-led startups selected under the Comcast Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. Two of the Comcast MEAP startups are led by black founders. Jonathan Gosier, co-founder of metaLayer, and John Njoku, CEO of Kwelia. BTW, John is a fellow Stanford Law grad.
Kerry Rupp, Managing Partner of DreamIt, said in a statement:
We’re excited to run our second program this year, coming hot off the heels of a very successful Demo Day in New York City in August. The caliber of this class is equally impressive. Additionally, we’re excited about the diversity of this group. In addition to the Comcast Minority Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, this batch includes an Olympic medalist, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran and a TED Senior Fellow, as well as several people from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
While all founders have a tough row to hoe to get to the next level, black founders must face a “harsh reality.”
Wayne Sutton, co-founder of NewMe Accelerator, recently wrote:
The harsh reality for black entrepreneurs in the web/tech space. Your chances of raising startup capital are slim to none. If you’re an entrepreneur, good luck and prove me wrong. If you’re an accelerator or incubator, open your doors and prove me wrong. If you’re a venture capitalist please prove me wrong!
I hope Jonathan and John will prove Wayne wrong.