Open Call: Projects to Fix Our Democracy! – Deadline Extended to Jan 25

by: | Dec 03, 2015

We are excited to partner with the Pluribus Project for our next Innovation Fund Open Call. Apply to be considered here before January 25, 2016 at 12pm PT / 3pm ET. 

Ballot BoxNew Media Ventures’ work is broadly about building the pipeline of progressive innovation. We see the work Pluribus is doing to fix our democracy as a critical pre-condition to building progressive change. We hope this joint Open Call makes it easier for innovative projects to find the support they need while taking advantage of NMV’s and Pluribus’ unique areas of expertise. You can learn more about this Open Call below!

Note: New Media Ventures solicits applications for funding twice a year via its Innovation Fund Open Call. As part of this winter 2015 collaboration, NMV retains sole discretion on its investment decisions. 


We Just Funded 5 Great Startups!

by: | Nov 25, 2015

We’re proud to announce that the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund is funding five startups working at the intersection of media, culture and citizen engagement with $50,000 for each. Together Hearken, Blavity, The Culture Lab, and ParentsTogether diversify voices in the public space, foster civic engagement and drive culture toward support for progressive change.

Democratize MediaThe work of these organizations is mutually reinforcing. Blavity and Hearken expand the range of voices and topics represented in the media, creating community engagement. By helping to shift the norms of our culture, The Culture Lab lays a popular foundation to support change. Building the power of previously under-represented groups lets and ParentsTogether expand civic engagement and create advocates. No one of these efforts alone is sufficient for progressive change – each supports the others.

Video: the challenge with Civic Tech

by: | Aug 20, 2015

Earlier this month, I did a lightning talk on the challenges of growing a civic tech startup at a CivicMakers event in San Francisco.  It’s short and pretty funny, at least if you’re a civic tech geek 🙂


Our Most Recent Innovation Fund Open Call Just Closed: A Few Things We Learned

by: | Jul 10, 2015

Whew! The New Media Ventures Innovation Fund Open Call has just closed and received 150 applications. For this Open Call, we seek to make investments and grants in progressive, scalable media startups that could make the world a better place. We’re currently in the process of evaluating all these applications (we have our work cut out for us!), but we’ve learned a few things already.

Media vs. Tech
During the last Open Call we received mostly tech applications and invested in 6 software companies. We decided to focus explicitly on media this time around and were happy to see that about half our applications were media based. We are, after all, New Media Ventures! Content creation, distribution and promotion are powerful tools for organizers and we want to continue catalyzing innovation in that area, building on the investments we made in Upworthy,

How to Create A Great Pitch Deck

by: | Jun 19, 2015

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about what a good pitch deck looks like from the startups applying to the Innovation Fund. Here are a few of our favorite resources, amongst the great many you can find online.

A basic pitch deck should follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule – this ensure you include all the important elements of a pitch, without being overwhelming. If you’re looking for details on what should go on each page, one of our favorite posts about pitch decks is Pascal Finette’s What Every Entrepreneur Should Learn About Pitching.

That’s it, look no further.

If you already have a deck and need some inspiration to take it to the next level, the links below can help you fine tune your pitch (this is by no means a requirement for the Innovation Fund):

  • Nextview ventures has put together a fairly exhaustive slide deck template,

Innovation Fund Webinar Recap: Your Questions Answered

by: | Jun 15, 2015

Today, we hosted a webinar to answer entrepreneur questions about our Innovation Fund Open Call.

Below, we’ve summarized some of the broader questions we heard. In addition, we’ve included a link to the recording and meeting notes.

Should I apply?

If there is any doubt, yes! We define media very broadly.

Do I need a pitch deck?

Yes. It does not have to be fancy or complicated, but yes. We will be publishing a post this week with more details about what makes a good pitch deck.

Do we need to be in San Francisco? 

No. You can chose to participate in pitch opportunities (a.k.a. Demo Days), and you will be invited to the annual NMV Summit which offers opportunities to meet investors, customers, and the entrepreneurs in NMV’s portfolio.

For the full list of questions and answers,

Show Me the Money: Experts Share Advice On How To Get Your Startup Funded At #PDF15

by: | Jun 11, 2015

Last week, I moderated a panel on Funding Civic and Political Tech at PDF.  It was exciting to bring together 4 experienced for-profit investors and nonprofit grant-makers: Shaun Abrahamson (, Stacy Donohue (Omidyar Network), Mike Mathieu (FrontSeat), Ben Wirz (Knight Foundation). Together, we attempted to lift the veil on the often mysterious and frustrating process of fundraising.

First, we shared what investors care most about. Not surprisingly, most investors care about the quality of the startup’s leadership team. That said, in some circumstances (such at the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund), the idea may be more important. For Shaun, the market you are targeting is paramount because it’s much easier to succeed in a large, fast growing market.

We focused our conversation on one of the biggest stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs: how to find the right investors in the first place.

Innovation Fund Webinar!

by: | Jun 10, 2015

Want to learn more about the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund?

Do you have questions about how your company might fit into our portfolio, and what joining the NMV family could mean for you?

For this Open Call, we are seeking to make investments and grants in scalable media startups—but what does “media startup” mean, exactly?

Find the answer to these questions and more by joining us for an informational webinar on Monday, June 15 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST.


Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.


You can also dial in using your phone.

United States : +1 (312) 757-3121

Access Code: 894-027-613

We’re excited to have you join us for this call,