NMV Innovation Fund is LIVE!

by: | Oct 17, 2014

UPDATE:  Deadline extended to Friday, November 21st at 6pm PT. 

We are excited to announce the launch of the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund!

For this round of financing, we are looking for early stage, for-profit companies using media and technology to drive progressive change. We aim to make $50k investments into 2 – 10 companies.

Sound like you? Apply here! Applications due November 17th, 6pm PT. Applications due November 21st, 6pm PT.

The NMV Innovation Fund is a new financing vehicle that is designed specifically to provide risk capital to early stage progressive media and tech startups.  The cool part is this– this new fund, a philanthropic fund housed at ImpactAssets, can make both grants and for profit investments. Any return made on for-profit investments will go back into the fund to continue funding innovative progressive media and tech startups. Funders can now support a fund that aims to create a sustainable revenue source for startups at the earliest stage of growth– essentially providing risk capital for the progressive sector.

Pretty awesome, right?

For this time around, we are focusing our efforts on for-profit startups. Starting next year, we aim to do open calls for both for-profit and nonprofit startups twice a year.

A few things to know about this fund, and about what we are looking for in this round of applications:

How do I apply?

The deadline for all applications for this open call is November 17th, 6pm PT. Apply here.

What are we looking for?

The NMV Innovation Fund is a competitive application– we are looking to make 2-10 $50k investments. The exact number of investments we make will depend on the quality and quantity of the applicant pool. While the best way to get a sense for the types of companies we fund is to look at our portfolio, here are some guidelines.

We are looking for entrepreneurs who demonstrate the following:

  • An eye towards scale

Media and technology are powerful tools that enable people to advocate and organize around the issues they care about at a scale previously unimaginable. We are looking for companies that are leveraging these tools to reach underrepresented populations.

  • A plan to generate revenue.

Successful applicants should have a growing user base, and a revenue model built on tested assumptions. We know that at the early stage, revenue models can be imprecise.  We primarily look to understand the assumptions underlying revenue models and want to see entrepreneurs test them accordingly.

  • A commitment to progressive change

Applicants should be working to create a progressive future — a future of social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity and equal rights for all people. We are specifically looking to fund entrepreneurs working to engage more people in our democratic process, bringing in voices that have previously been left out, and who have a demonstrated understanding of democracy and progressive change.

What are the investment terms?

We aim to structure investments as convertible notes, and have developed a standardized set of investment documents which are designed to be fair to the entrepreneur and company, have reasonable protections for our nonprofit fund, and are friendly towards future investors.

A few more eligibility and funding requirements:

All applicants must be incorporated as a for-profit entity– an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.

Applications should:

  • Present a strong theory of change.
  • Demonstrate how the effort fits into the broader progressive change field.
  • Demonstrate how this level of financing right now will make a significant difference to the trajectory of the project.

NMV aims to provide catalytic funding, and often serves as a validator to open doors to later stage investors. The most successful recipients of the $50k seed investment could be eligible to raise follow on financing from NMV’s network of investors, who typically pool $500k per deal.

Questions? Email innovationfund@newmediaventures.org.