Jeff Vinik invests $12 million into Dreamit Ventures, joins board – TechCrunch

Real property investor and Tampa Bay Lightning proprietor Jeff Vinik has expanded his relationship with Dreamit Ventures by way of a brand new $12 million funding into the early stage fund and accelerator, introduced earlier this week. The deal can even see Vinik becoming a member of Dreamit as a Partner and a member of the Board of Directors.

Vinik was already partnered with Dreamit in a proper capability previous to this funding. In 2016, he labored with Dreamit to launch its UrbanTech hybrid accelerator in Tampa. Unlike some startup incubators, the “hybrid” means startups aren’t required to relocate to Tampa throughout the whole 14-week program. Instead, it provides a briefer interval the place firms can get acquainted with the world, and pitch their startup to native firms.

The debut cohort included firms centered on numerous areas starting from water sensors to good pace bumps to electrical bikes to micro wind generators and extra.

Vinik had already invested an undisclosed, smaller quantity in Dreamit to help with the launch of UrbanTech, in line with the Tampa Bay Times.

The accelerator can also be tied to the $three billion Water Street Tampa redevelopment venture backed by each Vinik and Cascade Investment, Bill Gates’ personal funding fund. While the 50-acre waterfront redevelopment venture goals to usher in new residences, companies, eating places, accommodations, retailers, and extra, a giant a part of Vinik’s imaginative and prescient for the Tampa Bay space contains attracting new know-how funding and entrepreneurship to the world, too. 

“Over the last year, my partnership with Dreamit has helped us identify emerging technologies and bridge the funding and resource gap between Tampa Bay and larger startup ecosystems like New York and San Francisco. I’ve been highly impressed by Dreamit’s team, the caliber of Dreamit startups, and the large percentage of companies that continue growing with follow-on funding after the program,” stated Vinik, in reference to his Dreamit funding.

Of course, Vinik aslo sees a possibility in connecting the UrbanTech startups with the larger firms who will likely be constructing in Tampa on account of the actual property venture; so investing into Dreamit is sensible, given these aligned targets.

Vinik’s involvement in Dreamit may very well be a lift for the accelerator, as nicely, because of Vinik’s connections not solely on account of his actual property investments, but in addition these cast in his earlier days managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund and his personal hedge fund, Vinik Asset Management.

Since its founding in 2008, Dreamit has backed almost 300 startups together with SeatGeek, HouseParty, LevelUp, Adaptly, Wellth, Biomeme, Tissue Analytics, Redox, Eko Devices, Raxar, and Elevate. Its portfolio firms have gone on to boost round $800 million in follow-on funding, and have a mixed worth of almost $2 billion. Dreamit is now investing in city tech and healthcare – each areas the place Tampa might play a job.

In city tech particularly, town is presently residence to a linked car know-how venture that permits vehicles to speak with roadways and different automobiles to obtain warnings about roadway situations, pace restrict adjustments, risks and extra.

An autonomous shuttle venture was additionally within the works in Tampa, however has been placed on maintain. Another venture in growth is SunTrax, a testing floor for brand spanking new toll know-how and self-driving vehicles. Test tracks just like the 2.25-mile lengthy SunTrax facility, could also be more and more wanted to trial autonomous vehicles sooner or later, given the dying of the pedestrian brought on by an Uber autonomous automobile. It’s possible we’ll see extra driverless vehicles pulled from roads and initiatives placed on maintain, then solely allowed to check on closed tracks till the know-how is safer.

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