PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – East Coast technology accelerator DreamIt Ventures has launched its second new program in as many months – the latest focusing on minority-led startups.

DreamIt Access will consist of five minority-led businesses in each DreamIt Ventures class from now on, starting with the summer class in New York City, said William Crowder of DreamIt Ventures. Applications for New York opened late last year and the early decision deadline is Feb. 22, followed by a final deadline of May 16.

The move formalizes a program developed last year. Last fall, the Philadelphia-based accelerator had a minority entrepreneur accelerator program sponsored by cable company Comcast that included five minority-led startups. It had two additional minority-led startups that were not sponsored in a class of 14. A sponsor has not yet been announced for DreamIt Access.

“For us, it’s all about finding great people with great ideas and one should be excluded from that,” said Crowder. “It really boils down to networks. Hopefully, programs like this can provide minority-led startups with resources to be as successful as everybody else.”

DreamIt has sought applications from digital health and medical device startups, reflecting the strong investor push into this area. A key criteria is that the company’s product can be developed within three months.

Until about a month ago, DreamIt had two accelerator classes: one in Philadelphia and the other in New York. Then last month, it launched DreamIt Israel to give up to five Israeli startups access to the United States as well as mentoring, guidance, a stipend of up to $25,000, and access to early stage capital. The four-month accelerator program splits a company’s time between Israel and New York where the start-up companies will be exposed to potential customers, partners and investors.

In return for the investment, DreamIt takes a 9 percent passive equity stake in the Israeli companies, according to DreamIt’s website. With DreamIt New York, on the other hand, the accelerator takes a 6 percent passive equity stake in the companies, according to the website.

One goal of the DreamIt Israel program, led by Mitchell Golner, is that it will lead to the development of more accelerators aimed at young startups in the software and mobile app industry developing business to consumer solutions. The program is accepting applications from residents of Israel or Israeli citizens with a final company application deadline of March 6.

Golner said in a phone interview of DreamIt Israel: “If you look at the big things of our time – Google, Facebook – all of these were started by young entrepreneurs. The US is a very large target market for any company and it has a very strong innovation spirit. So does Israel. I think because entrepreneurs from Israel and the US will be sitting in the same office there will be a good exchange of ideas.”

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