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NMV’s Fit Test: What We Fund (and What We Don’t)
The Open Call for the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund closed a few weeks ago. We have just passed the first milestone in the diligence process: we eliminated applicants from our evaluation pool because they did not fit within our funding focus.
We got a record number of applications with this open call – a 25% increase compared to our Open Call last winter. We’re glad the word is spreading about the Innovation Fund! In addition, 65% of applicants reported having a woman on the leadership team, and 60% reported having a person of color on their leadership team. We couldn’t be more proud that the Open Call helps reach innovators that are too often overlooked by traditional investors.
86% of applicants reported that is was easy or somewhat easy to assess whether their work was a fit for NMV’s investment scope. In spite of this, we eliminated over half of the applications we received. This tells us we need to do a better job of explaining the types of innovation we fund. The purpose of this post is to explain why we have declined to further evaluate some applications, and help the startups that apply for our next Open Call this winter determine whether they are a fit. Here are the main reasons we rejected applications:
We are currently evaluating applications in more detail and will select the most promising ones to interview by the end of this week. We’ll continue to share what we notice and learn along the way. It has been incredibly inspiring to see the breadth and depth of the work mission-driven innovators are doing today. Thank you to everyone who has applied to our Open Call for sharing your work with us.