We’re hiring! Investment Associate

by: | Nov 16, 2017

Applications are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied for the position!

New Media Ventures (NMV) is a mission-driven venture fund and investor network focused on innovation to advance progressive change. Our mission is to find, support, and finance organizations that are telling new stories, building advocacy movements, and catalyzing civic engagement. Over the past 7 years, we have supported 60 promising startups, many of which are now widely recognized pillars of the social change community, from Upworthy and Blavity to SumOfUs, Ultraviolet and Coworker.org. Our recent Resist & Rebuild Open Call received 500 applications, and we are thrilled to be investing millions in new startups working to protect our democracy and advance social justice.

We are seeking an Investment Associate to help us take our reach to the next level. We are especially interested in democratizing access to capital and encourage people who are under-represented in the investment and startup communities to apply.

Taking off: How SumOfUs and CrowdTangle grew to scale

by: | Oct 12, 2017

How Crowdtangle sold to Facebook and SumOfUs.org acquired tens of millions of users

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?

First, I’m going to talk about growth a bit in the abstract, through some very useful frames provided by The Lean Startup (which you should read if you haven’t already — start with the “Grow” chapter!). Then I’m going to give two case studies of growth from New Media Ventures portfolio members — a first-person account of my experience at the organization I founded, SumOfUs.org, and an interview with Brandon Silverman of CrowdTangle.

What you measure matters

The first thing to know about growth is that it’s incredibly important to choose the underlying metric carefully.

Funding to Scale your Startup: From Angel Investors to Accelerators

by: | Sep 28, 2017

If you’ve ever watched Silicon Valley or Shark Tank, you might think getting funding is all about the pitch. It’s often presented as the climax of the startup story, filled with risk and uncertainty, and followed by a big reward. That drama makes for excellent television, but in reality the pitch is only one small element of what it takes get funding. There are a number of steps a founder has to take before a pitch is even appropriate. 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 scale.

We talked to a diverse group of founders and funders including Jennifer Brandel, CEO and Founder of Hearken, Shannon Farley, Executive Director of Fast Forward,

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

by: | Sep 07, 2017

How investors can think like grassroots activists and venture capitalists to meet the moment

I grew up between Bordeaux, France, and Lyme, Connecticut, and spent much of my childhood trying to bring these two worlds together. It started with food. In France, I worked hard to introduce my friends to American food like pumpkin pie; they wondered why anyone would put pumpkin in a dessert. In the U.S., I tried to introduce my friends to french delicacies like fish cheeks — also with little success. What started with food, then expanded to television shows and clothes. Next thing I knew, bringing things from one place to the other was cool. So then I made a habit — and a career — out of building connections between people and worlds.

In my role at New Media Ventures,

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? Or if the market itself is still being defined? 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.

The “Pioneer Gap” — a term coined by Monitor-Deloitte and the Acumen Fund in 2012 — describes the lack of funders ready and willing to invest in “pioneering” business models for social change.“Although excited by their novelty, investors are often rattled by these firms’ risk profiles and are unimpressed by their financial returns.” In other words,

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!

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,