Taking off: How SumOfUs and CrowdTangle grew to scale

by: | Oct 12, 2017

You’ve founded a startup. You’re starting at nothing and trying to get “to scale” — whatever that may mean in your part of the world. So, how are you going to get there? In this piece, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman shares some tips on growing your startup, including how to pick the right metrics. As the founder of SumOfUs.org, Taren has a unique perspective on the organization’s growth story. Here she reflects on that trajectory and how strategic decisions allowed the team to harness user energy to effect change. She also interviews Brandon Silverman, founder and CEO of CrowdTangle, a for-profit SaaS company acquired by Facebook in 2016.  We hope you learn as much as we did from Taren’s insights.

SumOfUs.org is a global corporate accountability watchdog organization that uses cutting-edge digital campaigning techniques to mobilize millions of consumers around the world.

Funding to Scale your Startup: From Angel Investors to Accelerators

by: | Sep 28, 2017

When you’re an early-stage entrepreneur looking to scale your startup, being strategic about fundraising is critical. In our last post we talked about creative approaches to capital that will help you get your startup off the ground. In this post, we’re focusing on securing funding when you’re ready to grow. We caught up with some of the sharpest entrepreneurs and most thoughtful funders in the field and asked them how to approach fundraising at this stage. We look forward to your feedback on Medium.

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How Funders Can Learn from Grassroots Activists and Venture Capitalists to Meet the Moment

by: | Sep 07, 2017

I recently returned from vacation with my family in Bordeaux, and have been thinking about my unique perspective as a citizen of both the US and France and how it’s informed my work at NMV. Here are some thoughts on what funders can do to meet this moment, how we can be better bridge builders, and what we should learn from activists and VCs to up our game.

Getting Creative about Early-stage Funding – From IOUs to Side Hustles

by: | Aug 24, 2017

We’ve all heard stories about entrepreneurs raising $1 million in seed funding based on an idea sketched out on a napkin. Sounds amazing, but how do you get that funder meeting in the first place? And what happens when your product still needs some fine-tuning and validation? Or what if you’re more focused on social impact than runaway profits? More often than not, this is the case for early-stage entrepreneurs, especially in the impact space, and it can make securing early stage capital challenging and unpredictable.

So what’s a founder to do? Get creative about capital. We recently asked leading entrepreneurs in the impact space about how they got off the ground. Check out my Medium post to find out more.

Getting Hiring Right – Tips from Founders

by: | Aug 17, 2017

As an entrepreneur, if you could guarantee that you would make excellent decisions in exactly one realm, what should it be? The answer is: Hiring and firing.

Recently, half a dozen entrepreneurs who have been funded by New Media Ventures over the past 6 years got together to host a “FailCon”.  They shared the biggest mistakes they had made and what lessons they took from them early on. Turns out, almost every single one of them shared a mistake they had made around hiring and firing.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman has been working with NMV’s newest cohort of entrepreneurs to help them navigate the rapids of early-stage startups. She’s put together two great Medium posts on hiring & firing and how the right job description can help your org meet its diversity and inclusion goals. Check them out, and let us know what you think!

We’re Hiring! Communications & Fundraising Associate

by: | Jul 20, 2017

New Media Ventures is hiring a Communications and Fundraising Associate to help us take our work funding and supporting progressive startups to the next level. It’s an incredible time at the intersection of tech, media and justice, and we’re excited to grow our small but mighty team.

Your responsibilities:

  • Contribute to our external communications by maintaining the communications calendar, drafting posts for our Medium publication and blog, managing our social media channels, updating our marketing collateral, and sending out our newsletters
  • Support our fundraising work by drafting grant proposals, one-pagers, and reports
  • Facilitate relationships with external vendors such as graphic designers and web developers
  • Pitch-in as needed organize events, prep for meetings, etc.

The ideal candidate is a detail-oriented person with impeccable written communication skills who thrives in fast-paced environments. Your strengths may include:

  • Experience with grant-writing,

Raising Money 101 – Tips for Progressive Startups from Successful Founders

by: | Jul 19, 2017

This year, New Media Ventures is investing in more and earlier-stage startups than ever before, and we want these amazing founders to have everything they need to succeed. But how do we make sure we’re solving the right problems? In the spring, we hired Deena Rosen, user experience expert extraordinaire, to do some research for us. We sent her on the (virtual) road to talk with founders, entrepreneurs and accelerators to get the dirt: Where did they struggle? What did they wish they had known when they first started out? What kind of help would have really, you know, helped?

Here are a few things that we heard loud and clear: 

  • It’s hard for first-time founders to get trained on the basics and find safe places (read: judgment free zones) to build skills and up their game.
  • Being an entrepreneur is HARD,

Apply for the New Tools Showcase @ Netroots Nation!

by: | Jul 05, 2017

We’re thrilled to be partnering once again with Netroots Nation on the New Tools Showcase, scheduled to make its return this August when Netroots Nation takes Atlanta by storm. Applications close next week on July 14, so apply now!

This is your chance to (re)introduce your voting, campaigning, or make-the-world-a-better-place technology solution to the Netroots community. Got a product, app or feature you want to tell the world about? Just click here to submit your idea for entry.

During the New Tools Showcase, selected presenters will have 5 minutes to make a live pitch. Attendees will then vote on their Favorite New Feature/Product, Most Innovative Use of Technology, and Favorite Startup Technology. We’ll also select an Overall Winner for Best New Organizing Tool.

Winners will be announced at the event and receive a shout-out on Netroots Nation social media during our Convention,