Philadelphia-based early-stage investment outfit DreamIt Ventures is in the business of finding, funding, and accelerating great startups. DreamIt, now in its second year, sees startup founders through the summer with seed funding and advisement, allowing them to demo their wares for media and investors mid-August.
Notehall allows college students to buy and sell lecture notes and study guide materials online. According to DreamIt, Notehall is currently active and generating revenue at three universities and has more than 13,000 users and 5,500 documents for sale.
While at Dreamit, Notehall has successfully launched an automated recruiting campaign at Drexel University and is planning to rolling out its services to more institutions this fall. The team is also in the process of raising a round of funding.
OurShelf , currently in public beta, helps users to catalog, lend, and manage their belongings while searching for items they need to borrow from friends for short-term use. Users can also use the site to list their unwanted items for sale on multiple third-party auction and classifieds sites.
A personalized social shopping experience is created by laying an item graph (complete with related items and reviews) over a social graph. DreamIt describes the app as being “like Del.icio.us for physical goods.”
Parse.ly is an aggregator of web content. Still in private beta, the site claims to adapt to user preferences to “filter, prioritize, and even suggest relevant content from countless news and blog sources across the web.” DreamIt claims the app works better than Google Alerts. We weren’t able to test-drive the app ourselves, but this is a hot space with a few excellent competitors, and we eagerly await the finished (or public beta) product.
Postling is a site we reviewed a scant week ago. Founded by half of Etsy’s founding team, along with a former Etsy and Amazon.com product manager, the site aims to be ground zero for small business publishing to social media platforms.
Postling lets users publish content simultaneously to many major social platforms, including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. In addition, users can read and respond to comments left by readers. The site offers paid accounts only. Aimed squarely at enterprises only, Postling is revenue-ready.
SeatGeek, currently in private beta, aims to be the Farecast of event tickets. It’s a web app that will forecast sports and concert ticket prices so consumers know whether to buy a ticket now or wait until the price drops. For sellers, the app helps them determine the best time to sell their inventory. DreamIt tells us that SeatGeek’s crawlers have compiled millions of ticket transactions and have aggregated other factors that influence ticket prices. The patent’s pending on that money-making algorithm.
And although free accounts are available now for consumers, this fall will bring premium subscriptions for brokers and other ticket sellers.
Straight Up English is a SaaS company now in private beta and launching public in the fall. It aims to address the most persistent speech challenges for ESL learners in areas such as word stress, intonation, and pronunciation with a multi-modal approach and a focus on oral communication. DreamIt tells us that this startup will include both web and mobile apps and communities for students and teachers.
The “three screens” of this startup’s name refer to mobile, computer, and television screens. The team plans to converge and capitalize on all three with social gaming apps, the first of which is FanGamb, a fantasy sports game that tests players’ abilities as sports bettors.The app is in private alpha and will go live by the start of the NFL season. The team is due to announce the close of a six-figure seed capital raise in the near future.
The team behind Trendsta were formerly some of the minds behind myYearbook and Owned (a top-10 Facebook app). They think they know teen influencers pretty well by now and are selling brands on a marketing platform that, according to DreamIt, “puts products in the hands of the most influential teens on the web… as they create buzz about those items.” The team has so far been working with hot-name brands such as Atlantic Records, Penguin Books, Neutrogena, and Polaroid.
Jobaphiles is for employers who want to auction their part-time jobs and one-time gigs, allowing them to hire the most qualified and competitively priced applicant and saving them time and money. Also, jobseekers compete with the added knowledge of one another’s qualifications and bidding prices.
Kidzillions , now in private beta and live in the fall, is an online allowance and chore management system that helps kids learn to spend and save in our cashless society. Kids work for money to buy real stuff as parents assign chores and monitor their progress.
And that wraps up DreamIt Ventures’ graduating class of 2009. We’ll be keeping an eye on these companies, sites, and apps as they go live, secure funding, and take their next steps.
Source: DreamIt Ventures