Articles about "Startups"


Cover art from Knight Foundation's report on nonprofit news startups. (Knight Foundation)

Knight Foundation support for nonprofit news startups shifts focus to growth, sustainability

The Knight Foundation has released a detailed new report today arguing that well-run nonprofit news sites can weather their growing pains and operate at break-even or better.

The report itself has a wealth of statistics on 18 selected sites, all operating for at least three years, but I found the subtext even more interesting.

To those venturing to launch nonprofit sites, the good news is that the turn from start-up funding to new and diversified sources of revenue can be done.

To potential foundation funders, the message is that these sites do important work and have a realistic chance to be in business and expanding in three to five years after initial grants have run out.

Though the sites were chosen as examples of good practice, they together showed revenue growth of 30 percent over the three-year period, 2010-2012. … Read more

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From left, Doug Jackson of Shared Vision Marketing, Jeremy Caplan from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, and Harry Lin with IMDb, give advice on startups,

Media entrepreneurs: Five myths can stop you before you start up

Let’s begin with this sobering statistic: nine out of 10 startups that get funded will fail.

Reliable and comparable numbers for news-related startups aren’t available, but it’s a good guess that any journalist thinking of venturing out on his or her own faces huge odds.

Three experts urged attendees at an Online News Association session Thursday to avoid five myths that can derail any news enterprise before it gains traction.

Myth #1: I’ll make money through advertising!

Harry Lin, head of business development for the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), an Amazon subsidiary, said the amount of traffic required for a website to pay the bills through advertising is “ridiculous.” More often than not, he said, startup sites end up running network ads, and after the network and ad agencies take their cuts, the sites are left with 25 cents per 1,000 page views.… Read more

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Bloomberg News’ parent will invest in startups

The New York Times | BuzzFeed

Bloomberg Beta, a $75 million venture capital fund, “is the first time that Bloomberg L.P. will reap profits from direct investments in some of the technology companies that its news operation covers,” Nicole Perlroth reports in The New York Times.

It is already an awkward time for the company, which is under fire because its reporters used Bloomberg’s financial terminals to snoop on companies they covered, including Goldman Sachs, and the fund raises questions on journalism ethics.

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sustainability

How to navigate the challenges of sustaining a startup news site

It seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up, a chance for a young online startup to pounce on a news niche that has proven popular across the country but was virtually abandoned by one city’s legacy media.

All across the United States, community newspapers and local websites alike seek readers by covering high school sports. In theory that makes a lot of sense, partly because it’s not just the players who want to read about their games, but parents and friends as well. And in many areas without a professional sports franchise, even people without a connection to the schools avidly follow local teams.

But in San Francisco, three-year-old online startup San Fran Preps recently shut down after finding local sports to be popular but too economically difficult to cover there.… Read more

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Homicide Watch faces uncertain future, established news beats as databases

Homicide Watch | Kickstarter | Nieman Lab
Homicide Watch, the news startup that tracks homicide cases in Washington, D.C., through data and reporting, is taking a break.

The wife-husband team that founded it, Laura and Chris Amico, are moving to Massachusetts next week for Laura’s one-year Nieman fellowship at Harvard. The site may find some new life through a Kickstarter fundraising campaign that would pay interns to staff it.

Either way, the project has made its mark.… Read more

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skift

Rafat Ali: Media builds a brand, data builds the revenue

Rafat Ali — who built paidContent, sold paidContent, took two years off to travel and said he did not want to go back to beating his head against the collapsing wall of journalism — is back in journalism.

But as you might expect from someone who spent years puzzling through media innovation, Ali is bringing some fresh ideas to his new project.

“Intelligence,” not just news

The new venture, Skift, describes itself as a “travel intelligence media company that offers news, insight, data, tools and services to the travel industry and the very large community of business travelers.”

“News,” yes, but also data, tools and services. That’s not the typical media company portfolio.

Skift promises travel industry “intelligence,” beyond news articles.

Ali talks eagerly of data on local tourism, airport passengers, airlines, hotels and more — most of which is held in obscure government repositories.… Read more

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Tips for journalists preparing to launch a startup site

When you’re getting a journalism startup off the ground, you face a number of decision points. Who do you partner with? How do you bring in revenue? How do you get the word out about your project? We’ll discuss these and other key questions facing entrepreneurial journalists in a live chat with paidContent founder Rafat Ali, who is now working on his new startup, Skift.

In a live chat, Ali answered questions on specific decisions, including:

  • Fundraising strategies
  • Whether to provide original content on your site, vs. curating and aggregating
  • Hiring staff

You can replay the chat below for tips and insights.

Interested in learning more about generating revenue for startups? Consider applying for Poynter’s Revenue Camp for Entrepreneurial Journalists.

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=843bc60032″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=843bc60032″ >Tips for journalists on preparing to launch a startup site</a>

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meporter-cp

The opportunities and challenges of Meporter, a new citizen journalism mobile app

A mobile app called Meporter aims to help citizen journalists report on events and breaking news.

Meporter launched Tuesday afternoon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. The app is purposefully simple: Witnesses use it to report news events, and others use it to browse nearby reports.

“We like to call it the local, mobile news desk,” founder and CEO Andy Leff told me in a phone interview. Users can “report, update and read local news as it’s happening from their phones.”

A couple things about Meporter’s approach stand out: The company is offering to license these reports to news organizations, and it is offering real rewards and possibly even payments to the users who create content.

But it faces similar challenges as other apps that depend on a network of users to create and view content: demonstrating its usefulness and attaining a critical mass of users.… Read more

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Good starting point for any new venture: Following your customers

Jon Dube has collected a dozen useful tips from Silicon Alley’s Startup2011 conference, but I find Tips Number 8 and 9 especially relevant:

8. “Find out who your users are and religiously, passionately follow your users,” (BetaWorks CEO John) Borthwick says. One thing we do wrong, he says, is try to figure out a business model first before we figure out what our users want. To be truly successful, follow your users.

9. Focus on your product, what you can control and how to “delight your customers.” - serial entrepreneur Gina Bianchini

Those ideas got me thinking about a side project I’ve been working on with friends over the past year aimed at creating a new sort of news operation in Detroit.

The initiative is focused on the reshaping the 143 square miles of land and water of a city that was originally planned for 2 million people but has a current population of only about 700,000.… Read more

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We Media NYC cranks up a checklist for entrepreneurs and their ventures

The day was almost done by the time judge Bill Weiss described what he liked about the two ventures awarded $25,000 each in Wednesday’s pitch competition at We Media NYC.

He said the panel of judges picked Pando Projects and Stable Renters because, among other things, they look like they’ll be able to:

  • Transform intention into action;
  • Leverage a dynamic “that’s already out there”;
  • Gain enough traction that, eventually, they’ll scale up to what he termed “a reasonable size”;
  • Make a real difference in their ventures with the $25,000 prize money.

More generally, he encouraged all entrepreneurs in the room to pay more attention to the outcomes they hope to achieve, to think internationally and to see if they can build operations that are lean enough to be called “asset-light.”

I believe this is the fourth We Media conference I’ve attended, and some of Weiss’ comments echoed advice that he and others offered at the close of the pitch session back in 2007.… Read more

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