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December 15, 2015

University City accelerator partners with Penn State on ed-tech startups

Dreamit accepting applications for startups that want investment and mentorship

Startup accelerator Dreamit is partnering with Penn State University to support fledgling enterprises in the field of educational technology, the company announced Monday.

Dreamit, headquartered in University City with additional hubs in Austin, Baltimore and New York, has launched more than 215 startups since it launched in 2008. It's already launched several ed-tech businesses like the "brain training" app Elevate and the interactive math tool Learnbop.

The partnership is being made with the university's online branch, Penn State World Campus. Penn State officials will sit on the accelerator's advisory board, allowing startups greater access to the world of higher education.

Craig Weidemann, the university's vice provost for online education, says that the partnerships will "ensure Penn State maintains leadership in online learning."

Dreamit CEO Avi Savar said the partnership will "empower entrepreneurs to create disruptive products" but also connect them to "established industry players."

Forbes ranked Dreamit as the 10th-best accelerator in the country in 2015. The program provides not just investment but also a 16-week curriculum, access to the advisory board and chances to meet partners, customers and investors at multi-day summits. Companies can participate virtually if they do not want to relocate.

Advisors in the accelerator's network include:

• Andrew Cohen: CEO of Brainscape

• Thom Jackson: CEO of EdisonLearning

• Justin Miller: CEO of Notehall

• Todd Schwartz: CEO of

• Sharon van Wyk: President of The Princeton Review

• Maia Sharpley: Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Kaplan

• Steven Hodas: Former executive director of the Office of Innovation for New York City's public school system

The program should launch in March, and applications are being accepted here on a rolling basis. (Separately, Dreamit is accepting applications for health care startups as well.)