Apply by midnight Monday, Aug 17, 2020
My friend Katherine Rowlands, owner of Bay City News and Bay City News Foundation, wrote to me shortly after with some feedback from her entrepreneurial experience. She said while skills from the journalism world can translate to certain aspects of entrepreneurship, she had observed that sometimes they don’t translate perfectly to the day-to-day practices of running a for-profit or non-profit business.
For example, here are a few questions Katherine highlighted that journalists might find challenging to answer:
Back in 2018, shortly after the first cohort of journalism entrepreneurship boot camp participants graduated, I reached out to many friends, advisors, and colleagues for input on how to grow the boot camp beyond the pilot phase.
One of the colleagues I reached out to was Josh Stearns at the Democracy Fund. He asked a deeply challenging question that I was not expecting, which was “How much are the people you choose actually the secret sauce [of the boot camp and its outcomes] versus the curriculum itself?”
I wasn’t expecting it because I’d had the same question of many journalism funders who often give out grants to the same people and projects year after year. I didn’t see how it was going to be possible to reinvent the media ecosystem if funders kept investing in the same “winners” and never made the necessary (and more challenging) effort to reach out to and engage new entrants. It’s a big part of what led me to launch the boot camp in the first place. …
I’m excited to announce that applications are now open again for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp. And I’m even more excited to share that the boot camp is now part of the newly announced Google News Initiative Startups Lab that is being piloted in partnership with LION Publishers, an association for independent digital news startups.
The first phase of our GNI Startups Lab will include an eight-week fully-remote boot camp that includes live online classes, one-on-one coaching and peer learning. Upon completion of the program, participants will also receive a free year-long membership to LION Publishers, and the opportunity to apply to the second phase of the GNI Startups Lab program, which will help participants to further grow their project from a plan into a news business — one with loyal customers and recurring revenue. …