Great New Tools Shootout 2014!

by: | Jul 31, 2014

NewToolsNN14 Winners

The Great Netroots Tools Shootout has been part of the Netroots Nation conference for the past 5 years, bringing all the newest innovations in progressive technology to the same stage. This year, Netroots, New Media Ventures and Google collaborated to produce the biggest New Tools Shootout yet.

The goal each year is to give the community of progressive tech innovators some inspiration and a deeper understanding of what the strategic landscape looks like. The shootout also highlights the work of these innovators to a broader community of political customers, amplifiers, advisors, and folks who can provide general support.

New this year, there were three categories in which entrants competed: Best Mobile or Facebook Application, Best New Feature or Product, and Best Startup Technology. Each finalist competed for the overall winner award.

40+ startups, products, and mobile applications put their names in the hat and applicants were invited to pitch their ideas or businesses in person at the Shootout.

Why getting together is important

by: | Jul 03, 2014

Last month, we gathered with New Media Ventures investors and entrepreneurs for the second annual NMV Summit. Check out our video for a taste of what went down.

New Media Ventures 2014 Summit from Panhandle Productions on Vimeo.

At the Summit, we heard 18 pitches from the companies and organizations within the NMV portfolio. From organizing millions of people online to win campaigns on gender equality and workplace safety, to providing key technology infrastructure to hundreds of progressive organizations, what this group has accomplished is absolutely extraordinary.

Here is what we learned:

Early money is super important.

For many startups in the portfolio, NMV was the first philanthropic donor or the lead investor in a seed round. We’ve found that a relatively small amount of money at the early stage, coupled with introductions to other funders and some fundraising guidance,

MBA Summer Fellowship

by: | Mar 18, 2014

We are excited to announce the 2014 New Media Ventures Summer Fellowship!

NMV Fellows are MBA students currently in between business school years or following graduation, who will spend summer 2014 with the New Media Ventures team.

About You:

You want to use your sharp analytical skills to evaluate business models, and are lit up by the opportunity to drive social change. You are fascinated by the nuances of evaluating both ROI and scale in the context of social impact, and you are intrigued by the whole idea of political impact investment.

You will be responsible for helping NMV source, manage and evaluate new deals, while thinking through new opportunities to scale our work.

A few musts:

  • Knowledge and passion about progressive politics and/or social entrepreneurship, with an eagerness to learn more

  • Strategic and analytical approach to evaluating startups and market opportunities

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Self-motivated,

What we learned launching our first-ever NMV Innovation Fund

by: | Feb 26, 2014

At the end of last year, we launched the NMV Innovation Fund — a designated fund exclusively for nonprofit technology efforts. Our goal was to create a fund focused on truly early stage nonprofit organizations. Earlier this year, we granted $25,000 each to 9 startup nonprofits to help them get off the ground.

The process was fun, challenging and taught us a ton. Here is a bit of what we learned.

3 things we learned about progressive startups:

  • Entrepreneurs are organizing new communities in new ways.
  • We’ve been impressed with the ways that entrepreneurs are thinking differently about how to engage people. Organizations like Berim, Groundswell, Faithful America, and Hollaback are seeking out new starting points for organizing– a common faith, a common country,

Introducing the NMV Innovation Fund Grantees

by: | Jan 09, 2014

We’re thrilled to announce the grantees of the first ever NMV Innovation Fund.

We launched the Innovation Fund for two reasons. First, we noticed a significantly lower amount of money going to non-profit startups versus for-profit startups within our own work supporting both. Second, we know how challenging it can be to find risk capital for early projects, particularly for non-profits.

We received 60 applicants to the fund, and are awarding $25k grants to 9 promising startup efforts.

At New Media Ventures, we support media and technology projects that drive progressive change. The NMV Innovation Fund gives us the opportunity to experiment with supporting earlier stage organizations creating progressive change in sometimes surprising ways, with the potential to engage new communities.

We came away from the process at once totally inspired by the work being done by these entrepreneurs, while motivated by the stark need for early stage,

3 Things We Learned in 2013

by: | Dec 20, 2013

It’s been quite the year at New Media Ventures. We are continuously learning a ton about what it takes to finance progressive innovation, and we’re committed to sharing more about what we are learning in 2014.

So, to kick things off, here goes:

To date, nonprofits have only received 23% of capital raised through NMV. We decided that was unacceptable.

We launched the NMV Innovation Fund this year as an experiment of sorts– to see if small grants to early stage nonprofits can begin to address this financing gap.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of applicants– it turns out the gap at the early stages could be bigger than we thought. We are proud to be announcing our final slate of grant recipients in early January 2014.

Investors and entrepreneurs have common goals,

Innovation Fund FAQs

by: | Oct 30, 2013

We’ve gotten some great questions about the Innovation Fund — while we can’t address questions about specific applications, here are some answers about the overall criteria and process.

What stage of startups will you support?


With this fund, we are looking to fill the very specific financing gap for early-stage organizations.

While we don’t have hard and fast rules about how long a startup needs to have been around, we look at where you are in your organization’s development. You should be past the “idea” phase, where you have run an initial test or begun to develop the first version of the product or solution to the problem you are trying to solve. If you are a well established organization with a large budget, where $10k – $25k won’t make a substantive impact, this fund is probably not the right fit.

We anticipate that this may be the first time some applicants are seeking outside funding,

Announcing our Innovation Fund!

by: | Oct 23, 2013

We’re psyched to announce New Media Ventures’ Innovation Fund — our first ever open call for nonprofit tech startups! Over the next two months, we intend to award grants ranging from $10k to $25k to nonprofit entrepreneurs that are using media and technology to drive progressive change.

Apply here!  And, be sure to check out our FAQs about the fund.

Why an Innovation Fund for nonprofits?

New Media Ventures has always maintained a commitment to supporting both for-profit and nonprofit startups. We believe that change comes in lots of different forms, and we’re excited by a new generation of entrepreneurs who aren’t limited by old models.

This philosophy has guided our work investing in the 11 organizations that currently make up NMV’s portfolio — they serve as a demonstration of what progressive political impact investing can look like.