Baltimore-bred tech entrepreneur and leader to support the upcoming DreamIt Health Baltimore program
November 27, 2013 – Baltimore, MD: DreamIt Ventures (“DreamIt”) announced today that Jason Hardebeck has joined the team as a Managing Director at the tech startup accelerator. Jason is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in established and early stage technology companies in a variety of industries, including software, consumer durables, and renewables. He was the founder and CEO of WhoGlue, a software company that was acquired by Facebook in 2011, and most recently, the Executive Director of gb.tc (the Greater Baltimore Technology Council). In his new role, Jason will join DreamIt managing partner Elliot Menschik, MD PhD in running the DreamIt Health Baltimore program. The role involves recruiting program applicants, sponsors, mentors, and speakers, managing the admissions process, designing the speaker and workshop programming, managing relationships with early-stage investors, and providing hands-on guidance and mentorship of the participating companies.
“DreamIt has built an incredible platform over the last 5 years, working with and launching 127 companies from all corners of industry. I am excited to be part of the DreamIt team and have the opportunity to work with extraordinary and ambitious entrepreneurs from around the world,” Hardebeck said.
Designed to help health IT startups rapidly find product-market fit and establish their first production customers, DreamIt Health Baltimore is the product of a tight partnership between DreamIt Ventures, Johns Hopkins University, BioHealth Innovation, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore and additional leading organizations to be announced.
“Jason is an exceptional fit, both for our team at DreamIt and our goal for the Baltimore program to integrate with and augment the growing tech community in the city and the broader mid-Atlantic region,” notes Menschik. “A Navy-trained engineer-turned-successful tech entrepreneur and a key leader of the Baltimore tech community, Jason will be instrumental in ensuring that the DreamIt Health Baltimore program is a huge success in attracting and growing a generation of high-growth enterprises that make the most of the region’s wealth of health IT resources and opportunities.”
In addition to adding Jason to the team, DreamIt has undergone internal restructuring to support the accelerator’s growing programs and portfolio as well as future initiative and alliances.
The expansion of DreamIt’s healthcare vertical from Philadelphia to Baltimore has come with Elliot Menschik taking on a full-time role as Managing Partner, DreamIt Health to oversee these and future programs in the sector. Elliot is a physician/scientist/engineer turned repeat tech entrepreneur. He successfully sold his last health IT startup, HxTechnologies, to MEDecision, the health IT subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation, where he went on to lead all EHR/HIE/Telehealth/Accountable Care businesses as general manager. He subsequently founded Venturef0rth, an urban campus for tech startups in Philadelphia, and is also adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches engineering and science students how to form and lead companies to take their technology to market.
Karen Griffith Gryga is now Managing Partner, DreamIt Funds, dedicating her time to leading all of DreamIt’s fund management and fundraising efforts. In this role, she is responsible for all of DreamIt’s investment activities in the portfolio companies, limited partner relationship management and development and reporting as well as business development activities for fund strategic partnerships.
Kerry Rupp, a Managing Partner at DreamIt for nearly 4 years, was recently promoted to CEO. In this role, Kerry will oversee the all of the accelerator’s initiatives including accelerator cycles, sponsorships, strategic partnerships, marketing, and operations.
“We are extremely excited about the expansion of the DreamIt team and what this means for the strategic and operational priorities of the company,” said Rupp. “As our portfolio continues to grow we need to staff our team accordingly to support both the companies and partnerships. These organizational additions and changes are setting us up for rapid growth and expansion.”
DreamIt just wrapped up their recruiting efforts for DreamIt Austin and DreamIt Health Baltimore and are in the process of interviewing finalists in order to select the participating companies. Both programs are scheduled to kick off in January 2014
About DreamIt Ventures
DreamIt Ventures is a pre-seed stage accelerator with the goal of helping exceptional teams build exceptional companies. DreamIt provides aspiring entrepreneurs with access to seasoned entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to help them validate and de-risk their ideas, a uniquely assigned and seasoned entrepreneur as a mentor, pre-seed funding, top tier accounting and legal services, a rigorous and creative working environment, and access to capital. DreamIt was founded in 2008 by three successful technology entrepreneurs who want to create the same type of opportunities that they were fortunate to have had themselves for the next wave of entrepreneurs. Since kicking off in Philadelphia with their traditional accelerator program, DreamIt has expanded to Austin, Baltimore, New York, and Israel, built a thriving healthtech accelerator program, been named among the top three accelerator programs in the world by Forbes Magazine in 2012 and launched 127 companies with an enterprise value greater quickly approaching $400M, featuring companies such as The Level Up, Parse.ly, SeatGeek, Adaptly, MindSnacks, ShowMe, AppAddictive, LearnBop, Take The Interview, Cloudmine, ElectNext,
SnipSnap, Charlie, Cloudamize, Vantageous, Reactor, PeerActive, and TrendKite. DreamIt alumni have collectively gone on to raise more than $100M in follow on funding. More information about DreamIt Ventures is available online at www.dreamitventures.com, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Programs