By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
One of the things I’m most excited about for this year’s convention (and there’s a LOT to be excited about) is UNITY Journalists for Diversity bringing the NewU Entrepreneurship Start-Up Loft program to Orlando. Thanks to the generosity of the Ford Foundation, NewU helps journalists realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
I had the pleasure of working with co-founders Doug Mitchell (who also heads NABJ’s Media Institute) and Alli Joseph at the first Start-Up Loft at last year’s UNITY convention in Las Vegas. You can see my Storination of the event here.
The NewU Entrepreneurship program, now in its fourth year, is coming to this year’s NABJ annual convention on July 31 and Aug 1. Since 2010, NewU has seeded 10 companies with grants ranging from $3,300 to $10,000. This year and next, NewU will be awarding grants of $20,000 to a total of four companies that both impress a panel of judges and are able to generate online votes through an open competition.
The purpose of this program is to find employers, not employees. That
is those who are eager to address diversity through ownership, job
creation, leadership, team building, business development/entrepreneurship.
If you think journalistic enterprises are sparse with people of color think
about Board rooms. Think about where investment capital is going. You see
where it’s going by simply consuming any form of media. So, we’re working
to do something about that.
Were working across media enterprises and associations to find the next
CEO/Founder of color, seed their ideas and get them into a supportive
ecosystem where they rise and then bring others with them. At the NABJ conference, we’ll have morning programming for anyone who
wants to be there The sessions are designed help you decided IF this is
something for you.
At noon, the programming with become *exclusive *to companies that
applied to compete for seed grants and were selected by our panel of
judges. Our judges and speakers represent women and men of color who are
giving up their time to help us find entrepreneurs of color to support.
If you are interested, apply here . Also reach out to past grant winners Kelly Virella and Jay Frazier.
The application is fairly rigorous and that’s highly intentional.
If you are going to award $40,000, you want to make sure the contestants
are deeply serious and doing the work, right now. For questions, please contact co-founder Doug Mitchell at *firstname.lastname@example.org*. Remember — the deadline is midnight PDT Friday July 5th. We’ll be choosing companies no later than July 9.
Let’s get in the game!