Journalism and media accelerator programmes around the world

Where are the other journalism and media accelerators around the world?

JAMLAB Contributor


In building a journalism and media accelerator and innovation lab, we looked at other similar initiatives around the world. The good news is, we are not alone!

In this article we list the accelerators, incubators and innovation labs focused on journalism and media that we’ve found. As far as we know we are the first accelerator or incubator programme in Africa that is focused on journalism and media. But we join a number of initiatives on the continent that are supporting innovation in media.

Baltic Media Accelerator
· Country : Russia
· Description : The media accelerator is a 4-month programme for media companies spanning all stages of development: from functional prototypes and viable business plans to those with more significant traction seeking to expand into the Baltic countries and international markets.

Chicas Poderosas New Venture Lab
· Country : Brazil
· Description : A new initaitive launched in 2017 by Chicas Poderosas to provide strategic guidance and funding for women-led entrepreneurial, independent news or media ventures, with the aim to create an informed, connected and empowered society.

Danish School of Media and Journalism Stibo Accelerator program
· Country : Denmark
· Description : The Stibo Accelerator applies the unique strength of the Stibo network to bringing research and entrepreneurship closer to the industries they operate in. The initiative supports research and accelerates innovation by providing 12–20 teams of students and startups every year with the best possible setup for exploring new trends and technologies in close relationship with the industry partners. Most of the teams on the Stibo Accelerator are Master students from various IT, business or journalism schools. There is a good reason for that: Students working on their Master Thesis, have a 100% commitment to this project and they are driven by a desire to research, build, test and iterate. From previous experiences, these students find huge value in working on their projects in close collaboration with Stibo and partners. Startups are welcome too — the only condition is that Stibo can help them grow in a sustainable way.

Digital Lab Africa
· Country: All Africa
· Description: Digital Lab Africa supports media start ups with virtual mentorship from French and African digital content business leaders. It supports ventures in web creation/transmedia, virtual reality, video game, animation and digital music. Selected teams receive a €3,000 cash prize, mentorship and project development support by French and local partners and time in France within digital companies.

Digital News Innovation Challenge
· Country : Canada
· Description : A Canada-wide incubation program supporting leading digital news ideas and early-stage tech companies driving innovation for journalism and news organizations. Participants have access to $100,000 in seed capital on completion of milestones for their startup.

Div-A-Diversity Accelerator
· Country : Europe
· Description : Div-A is a Council of Europe’s pilot mentoring programme that ran in 2016–7 for journalists committed to diversity and inclusion in media. Mentors came from an international network of alternative multimedia journalists. Teams selected received 6 months mentoring, starting in Lisbo and ending at the Perugia International Journalism Festival. Div-A enabled journalists to create their own multimedia startups and long-term business models.

Independent Lab
· Country: South Africa
· Description: The lab within Independent Media is training technology graduates in media, so they get can apply technology in the newsroom and innovate in the media sector.

Innovate Africa, Impact Africa and Code for Africa
· Country: All Africa
· Description: Code for Africa supports data journalism and civic tech in Africa. Innovate Africa was launched in 2016 and supported digital news and journalism innovations with grants of between $10,000 and $100,000. Impact africa has given grants for data journalism projects.

· Country: USA (San Francisco and York)
· Description: Matter supports media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society through their start-up accelerator in San Francisco and New York City. They look for early-stage media ventures that are changing media for good and that have the potential to make society more informed, connected, and empowered.

Media Factory News Accelerator
· Country : Argentina
· Description : Media Factory is a start-up accelerator which focuses on the business of online news and journalism. They select small teams of journalists working on content projects that have the potential to grow into successful, long-term content businesses. Media Factory invests USD 75,000 in each company and work with founders on editorial efficiency, audience growth, and revenue generation.

Media Lab Bayern
· Country: Germany (Munich)
· Description: Media Lab Bayern is a co-working space and ideas incubator for digital journalism in Munich, Germany. They look for creative thought leaders who not only want to invent their own media projects, but also to implement them. These leaders should be able to design ideas, find team members, develop prototypes for digital media apps and tools together.

· Country : South Korea
· Description : Mediati help domestic media start-up growth and sustainability. They do this through two self-education programs: Medi-Ti J-Lab (J-Lab) and Mediatista Start-up Fellowship.

Next Media Accelerator
· Country: Germany
· Description : The Next Media Accelerator was initiated by the German Press Agency (dpa) in 2015 in Hamburg to offer media related startups a place to succeed. The program is looks for scalable companies that bring innovation to the media industry and are looking for international markets. They have built a strong international community, with several partners on board in the USA, Europe and Israel. Their goal is to become the largest hub for media innovation in Europe.

Nieman Lab
· Country : US
· Description : The Nieman Foundation at Harvard supports journalists around the world to spend time considering their field. The Nieman Lab while not an incubator, provides research and commentary on innovation in news and journalism in the US and around the world.

South African Media Innovation Fund
· Country : South Africa
· Description : SAMIP is run by Media Development Innovation Fund and supported by Omidyar Network and Open Society Foundations. It offers grants and investments in independent digital journalism and media ventures and mentorship and training to the enterprises they support.

Women’s Leadership Accelerator (Online News Association)
· Country : USA
· Description : An intensive program aimed squarely at advancing women in digital journalism. The Women’s Leadership Accelerator is a year-long, intensive program to support leadership and management skills of women who are pushing digital innovation. Participants will focus on a challenge specific to their careers and learn leadership skills and tools for navigating change. About 25 women are selected, representing a range of backgrounds, expertise and newsrooms around the globe that are leading digital innovation.

If you know of any other journalism and media accelerator programmes that we have not listed here, please comment or write to us at and we will update the article.