East Coast technology accelerator DreamIt Ventures has announced details of a new program to boost the number of minority-led startups

DreamIt Ventures’ new program DreamIt Access will launch up to 15 minority-led startups over the next 12 months. Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of media and communications company Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA, CMCSK), is one of the first investors that will provide seed funding, mentoring and other benefits to five minority-led startups starting with the Philadelphia-based accelerator’s 2012 summer cycle in New York City.

Prospective applicant companies must be at least 50 percent owned by members of the company’s founding entrepreneur team who are African American, Asian American, Latino American or Native American, according to the website. The company’s product has to be developed within three months, so the focus tends to be computer technology, such as healthcare IT, although it is not limited to that. Companies get stipends of up to $25,000 in exchange for a 6 percent passive equity stake in their businesses.

DreamIt is accepting applications and will select up to five minority-led startups to participate in the three-month accelerator program taking place in New York City this summer. The deadline for applications is March 16 and the program will start April 27.
Comcast’s additional investment with DreamIt is part of the $20 million fund created last fall to expand opportunities for minority entrepreneurs in its Comcast Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program.

William Crowder, managing director of DreamIt who is heading up DreamIt Access, said in a statement: “The underrepresentation of minorities in the startup world has been a hot topic in recent months; however, practical approaches toward resolving the issues have gone largely ignored. Through DreamIt Access, we have the opportunity to significantly change the face of entrepreneurship and bring greater diversity of thought, technology use and business building to the landscape.”

Last month, the accelerator also announced details of its DreamIt Israel program, a four-month program in which members of the class develop their product in Israel and New York. Led by Mitchell Golner, it is partly intended to bring the accelerator culture to foster young entrepreneur technology companies to Israel.

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