Source: LaunchSquad

DreamIt Ventures Brings Two Leading Talents to the Team and New York Community

Mark Wachen Is Named Managing Director Emeritus, DreamIt New York; Andrew Ackerman Is Named Managing Director, DreamIt New York; Erica Duignan Minnihan as Managing Director, Community

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 24, 2014) - DreamIt Ventures ("DreamIt"), a leading accelerator for startups, announced today that Mark Wachen has become Managing Director Emeritus, Andrew Ackerman has joined the team as Managing Director of DreamIt NY, and Erica Duignan Minnihan has joined as Managing Director, Community. Mark is well known to the New York tech community, leading DreamIt NY since 2011 as founding Managing Director. As Managing Director, Andrew will be taking over the operations of DreamIt NY, allowing Mark as Managing Director Emeritus to focus on his passion for mentoring and advising the DreamIt companies. As Managing Director, Community, Erica will be working with the entire startup community to build on DreamIt's pivotal role within it.

Andrew is a recovering consultant turned serial entrepreneur, startup mentor, and angel investor; he is also a contributing writer to, a leading destination for startup news in New York City. His career began as a consultant to Fortune 100 companies and quickly turned the way of tech when he worked for Kaplan. Later, Andrew joined the founding team of and built the company into the leading provider of web services in the summer camp industry. He went on to manage a family office where he was responsible for managing over $50M in alternative assets as well as incubating new ventures. Andrew is an active mentor with DreamIt alumni and has deep personal and professional experience of the startup journey.

Andrew commented, "I used to joke that all it would take to make me happy is to pull up a chair at a local Starbucks and meet with interesting startup after startup so this is basically my dream job -- no pun intended, I swear! Mark is getting me up to speed on the operations side of DreamIt New York and has been great at making this a really smooth transition."

Erica Duignan Minnihan is joining DreamIt Ventures as the Managing Director, Community. After a successful career in investment banking with firms including Cantor Fitzgerald, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse, Erica found the force within her and became the first Executive Director of Golden Seeds, a national early-stage investor group investing in women entrepreneurs. Erica also was the Executive Director of STAR Angel Network, a membership organization for professional athletes and celebrities making investments in high-growth, early-stage startups.

Based in NY as Managing Director, Community, Erica will focus on finishing the raise for DreamIt Fund II (which invests in DreamIt alumni companies), business development, sponsorships, investor relations and company recruiting. Erica also will lend support for DreamIt NY.

"I am delighted to be part of such a great team," Erica noted. "We have an incredible startup community here that has grown fast and deep over the last few years, and yet there is so much opportunity for further growth. I look forward to helping DreamIt extend its position as a gravitational force in this community and to continue helping great people build great companies."

No one is happier with the addition of Andrew and Erica than Mark Wachen, DreamIt NY's founding Managing Director. "Andrew and Erica are terrific additions to the DreamIt team. We are off to a great start, and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish in DreamIt NY 2014 with our combined skills and talents," said Wachen.

The additions of Andrew and Erica are the latest moves by DreamIt to strengthen its service to the NY startup community. Earlier this year, DreamIt and Comcast Ventures announced their joint commitment to continue DreamIt Access -- the dedicated effort to launch more minority-led tech startups -- as part of DreamIt NY and DreamIt Philadelphia. "The underlying premise of DreamIt Access is that the primary barrier for minority entrepreneurs has been access to capital, resources, mentors and networks," said William Crowder, Managing Director of DreamIt Access. "DreamIt Access breaks down those barriers, and gives minority entrepreneurs the same access to those advantages as all other DreamIt Companies. DreamIt Access has been a great success and I am thrilled that both Comcast Ventures and DreamIt have committed to continue this program which gives minority-led companies an opportunity to shine," said Crowder.

Kerry Rupp the CEO of DreamIt Ventures is proud of the team she is putting on the field. "Mark has done a terrific job building DreamIt NY. With Mark, Andrew, Erica and William, we have 4 partners serving DreamIt NY and a team that is replete with exceptional startup, operational and investment experience and strong networks," said Rupp. "DreamIt NY is positioned to be the preeminent startup accelerator in New York."

Applications for DreamIt New York 2014 are now open. DreamIt NY will run from May through August 2014.

DreamIt Ventures helps exceptional people build exceptional companies. We believe that if you create a community of entrepreneurs working side-by-side on their various companies, strip away as many impediments as possible, and makes as many resources available as possible, some magic can happen in a short period of time. DreamIt operates accelerators in New York, Philadelphia, Austin, Baltimore and Tel Aviv. Since its founding in 2008, DreamIt has launched 127 companies including:
Adaptly, LevelUp, Parsely, SeatGeek, MindSnacks, SnipSnap, Reactor, Peeractive, TrendKite and Biomeme. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available at, or via email at

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Gavin Skillman