UNITY: Journalists for Diversity has launched the fifth annual New U start-up competition, funded by the Ford Foundation. This year, seven journalism media start-ups will compete for two $20,000 seed grants.
This year’s competitors are:
- Go Baller, a platform for curating the world’s best social media content;
- FierceforBlackWomen.com, a digital network that targets busy, dynamic black women;
- InSight Initiative Media Group, a multi-media company that uses the arts to redefine high achievement;
- INVSTG8.NET, an open source tool helps journalists anywhere overcome information and communication barriers to reporting;
- kweliTV, an internet streaming network for the black consumer;
- MyMobileLyfe, which helps companies tell stories for people on the go; and
- Storiography, which specializes in writing short biographies about dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in assisted-living homes.
Voting is now open, and will run through December 3. Voters can vote for two of the projects. Once voting has ended, a panel of NewU judges will score contestants based on a series of criteria. Judges scores will count 75 percent and online voting is 25 percent of the total score.
The program, run by co-directors Doug Mitchell and Alli Joseph, was created to help increase the number of diverse journalist-entrepreneurs by providing unique entrepreneurship training and matching participants with mentors that help them develop their business plans. It has chosen 12 winners since the program began in 2010.
Benét J. Wilson is the co-editor-in-chief of AirwaysNews.com. She is also the Air Travel Expert for About.com and a long-time an aviation/travel journalist. She has written for publications and blogs including CrankyFlier.com, ACI-NA Centerlines, Aviation International News, Airport World, the Airline Passenger Experience magazine. and the Runway Girl Network. She currently serves on the board member of the Online News Association and isVice Chair, Education, for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force.