NewU ’13

New U 2013 Winners Announced

December 10, 2013

Media contact:

Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director
(703) 854-3594

McLean, VA — The New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY project announced today that its two 2013 seed grant winners have been selected based on three-fourths-weighted judges vote combined with a one-fourth crowd-sourced peer vote.

As in past years, program co-directors Doug Mitchell and Alli Joseph felt that using crowd-sourcing as part of the decision-making process was the most equitable way to choose winners.  “After receiving feedback from past grant recipients, camp participants and our panel of judges, we adjusted the formula for deciding who wins. We wanted the decision to be less of a popularity contest and more of an experientially informed decision by experts,” said Doug Mitchell, program Co-director. “The open public vote remains a vital part of the process, as our judges get to see how our contestants ‘sell’ others on what they are doing.”

The NewU project delivers training boot camps and strategic mentorships to develop and nurture the entrepreneurship skills of journalists of color and prepare them for full participation in digital media. New U is a Ford Foundation-funded program and is administered by UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, Inc.

The New U project is intended to increase the number of innovative thinkers and product developers who are of color, providing them with a forum in which to develop and express innovative ideas.  “Every year, we learn at least as much from our companies as they learn from us,” said Co-director Alli Joseph. “The entrepreneurs who apply to New U are the sorts of people we expect to see as strong leaders in the start-up community. They are scrappy, smart, uncowed by failure and full of passion for their ideas. It is this important formula that breeds success.”

The winners from participating organizations and unaffiliated groups are Eunice Nuekie Cofie, CEO/Founder of “EthnicDermMedia,” and Kathy Times, Co-founder of “Wheretogo411.”

After the public vote concluded, a panel of esteemed, anonymous industry judges reviewed all candidates’ submissions and revised video pitches, work they had improved after attending New U 2103 start-up camps. Each winner will receive $20,000 in seed grant money to help fund her business.

“This grant will help spread awareness about a unique tool designed to help grow the African-American business class, and spur economic development in communities that suffer disproportionately from economic neglect,” said grantee Kathy Times. “I’m ecstatic and want to thank the New U judges for this awesome gift that will help us fuel a national campaign; it will change the economic reality of urban communities across America,” she added.

Eunice Nuekie Cofie also shared her excitement. “I am so excited about winning the NewU grant.  It will help EthnicDermMedia empower women and men of color to understand the skin that they are in.”

In 2013, eleven participants attended one of three two-day “boot camps” to learn vital business skills and pitch their ideas to a group of mentors and guest entrepreneurship experts. The companies recorded their business pitches on video as part of their application to the program, and again to complete their participation in the competition. In early December, UNITY and NewU asked members and the rest of the web community to vote for the best business concepts.

The $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation will fund the program through 2014. This is the third grant from Ford to support the New U project.


About UNITY: Journalists for Diversity

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, an alliance of three journalism associations, is the nation’s most diverse journalism organization. A coalition of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association, UNITY is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color and LGBT issues and aggressively challenges news organizations to increase diversity in whom they employ at all levels of their companies.

For more information, visit or call (703) 854-3585.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. It is guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

New U 2013 Winners Announced

McLean, VA — The New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY project announced today that its two 2013 seed grant winners have been selected based on three-fourths-weighted judges vote combined with a one-fourth crowd-sourced peer vote.  Read the news release …

Here are the New U 2013 winners:

Kathy Y. Times –

Kathy is a national web site and will use the $20,000 New U grant for advertising, marketing, branding, search engine optimization, and promotions. helps grow African-American enterprises by connecting them to both local and national buyers, such as universities, governmental entities, and majority companies and helps these major buyers meet their diversity spending goals.  Major site features include a quote system that sends requests for quotes to African-American businesses, a mobile app, articles, customer reviews, and coupons and discounts from a growing database of more than 12,000 businesses.  The grant also will help us kick off a national African-American business empowerment tour to promote the site, generate more support for African-American businesses and change the economic reality of urban neighborhoods.’s co-founders are Kathy Y. Times, an Emmy award-winning former investigative reporter, anchor and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and James E. Covington, an entrepreneur and author.

Times is vice president/COO of She is also president of a full-service public relations and media coaching business in Jackson, Mississippi.

Prior to launching two companies, Kathy was the primary anchor of the Fox affiliate in Jackson and worked in major cities as a television news reporter/anchor and newspaper reporter. She has won numerous honors and awards, including Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award for her investigative reporting on system failures and corruption. Her investigative reporting has landed her in handcuffs, and she has interviewed some of the world’s most influential leaders including numerous U.S. presidents and reported for MSNBC. Kathy graduated with honors while pursuing dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Information Systems and Journalism at Florida A&M University. She furthered her education at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a Master of Science degree in Journalism.

Eunice Cofie – EthnicDermMedia

EthnicDermMedia is a multi-media company which bridges the gap between low access to skin health education by providing multi-media platforms for consumers, dermatologists, health professionals, and estheticians. The company will provide services and products such as online and mobile platforms, live events, continuing education, public health campaigns, and publishing

Eunice Cofie is making great strides in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. She is the President and Chief Cosmetic Chemist of Nuekie. Nuekie provides innovative dermatological products for women and men with skin of color.

Eunice is a graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry/molecular biology and completed the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Global Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education program. Her deep commitment to social causes worldwide has led her to make a positive impact across the globe, specifically in Ghana and the Philippines. While in college, Eunice spent her summers working in a village community in Ghana, West Africa implementing the Save a Million Lives HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Program.

NewU 2013

Welcome to the 2013 NewU Startup Competition open vote. We’ve competitively selected 11 startups throughout the course of this year and they are now competing for two, $20,000 seed grants.

Voting is now closed, but you can still review the competitors here. Watch this space for details about the winner and the next phase.

~Alli Joseph and Doug Mitchell NewU Co-Directors is a job website for media professionals in Asia. Employers can find media talent from Beijing to Singapore and from Tokyo to Bangkok. Currently, media companies have a difficult time finding quality media professionals though out Asia. Jobs seekers also can’t find media jobs in Asia in one place. solves these problems. Eric Wee is the founder and CEO of He was a reporter at the Washington Post where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. He is also the founder of


Blackline Review

BLACKLINE REVIEW is the digital news source about emerging companies. We connect Chicago’s community of entrepreneurs and investors through original stories and objective reviews of promising high-growth startups. Founded in October 2012, by journalist Rose Tibayan and former CBOE trader David Carman, Blackline Review aims for Chicago focus, but national appeal. 2013 RECIPIENT OF TWO BRONZE TELLY AWARDS In June 2013, eight months after going live, Blackline Review received two bronze Telly Awards for video coverage in two categories — news and information.
Rose’s Bio:


Brick City Live is a multimedia destination for journalism about, and perspectives from, Newark, New Jersey and the greater Newark area. The site primarily covers the types of stories that go largely underreported here, including business and entrepreneurship, art, style, tech, sustainability, and innovation. The site’s model and infrastructure, which enables vetted local contributors to autonomously contribute content about their areas of expertise, can also be replicated in other locales.


Diverse Scholar

DiverseScholar (a non-profit project of Community Partners) specializes in diversity talent sourcing at the junior faculty level especially in STEM fields. Our unique community of diverse PhDs use our website, read our _DiverseScholar_ original articles, and populate our Doctoral Directory CV database. DiverseScholar is tackling the national problem of STEM workforce diversity by helping recent PhD graduates (postdocs) with professional development training and proactive recruiting.



EthnicDermMedia is a multi-media company which bridges the gap between low access to skin health education to ethnic minority consumers, dermatologists, and estheticians. The company provides services and products such as interactive online and mobile platforms, live events, continuing education, public health campaigns, and publishing. Each platform will be a hub where people can have access to public health education concerning common ethnic skin disorders through articles and videos created by medical journalists and medical experts. Eunice Cofie is the founder of EthnicDermMedia. She has been published in several medical, health, and science journals. She was named by Forbes magazine as one of the Youngest Power Women in Africa and she has been featured in Scientific American as “What a Scientist Looks Like”. She is also the President and Chief Cosmetic Chemist of Nuekie ( – a company which provides innovative skin care products for women and men of color. Eunice has been recognized for her leadership as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.


FUSION Magazine

Fusion Magazine is a print and digital bi-lingual publication based out of El Paso, TX that focuses on art, music and culture. We publish and distribute 20,000 copies per month across five cities in two countries (El Paso, TX, Las Cruces, NM, Cd. Juarez, CH, Chihuahua, CH, & Mexico D.F.) serving 2.5 million people. Our digital reach averages 29K hits per month.


Illume Magazine

ILLUME Media tells accessible stories about American Muslims. The critically acclaimed, award-winning digital news outlet provides in-depth news coverage and analysis of this emerging community. American Muslims are at the forefront of some of the most pressing issues of our times: surveillance, immigration, national security, and civil liberties, among others. Yet the community is often overlooked and under-reported. In just three, short years, ILLUME Media’s team of veteran writers, editors, producers and digital journalists has already made its mark, by going beyond the headlines. We are pushing the boundaries of investigative reporting and tackling controversial topics to spark healthy debates. And our results speak for themselves, as is evident with the spike in traffic and growing number of users, and the several, prominent national awards and accolades ILLUME Media has received for excellence in journalism and online reporting. Using the latest technology, from mobile platforms to social media, ILLUME Media delivers news and information about American Muslims to America and beyond. ILLUME Media covers politics and pop culture, to lifestyle and civil liberties. There are at least two sides to every story. ILLUME Media is here to tell yours.


InHue Magazine

InHue is an online health magazine for minority women ages 18-34. We aim to be the go-to resource for women of color by empowering them with inspiration and information related to their health concerns by covering everything from nutrition and fitness to sexual health, mental health and news related to health policy.You can learn more about InHue at


Know This! TV

Know This! TV is an online talk show–and soon-to-be online media network–that features inspiring interviews of young people of color living their purpose, pop culture commentary and a smart point of view. Think for the next generation. Created by Ariana Proehl, who was named one of the Women’s Media Center’s Progressive Women’s Voices of 2011, Know This! TV is the place where it’s cool to make change in yourself and in the world in this age of ratchet reality TV.



Moblish is a mobile-first publishing platform for professional and citizen journalists. The platform streamlines real-time news reporting and multimedia storytelling on smartphones and tablets. The objective is to make live news reporting easier and more efficient for journalists in the field, and create a new business model for journalism.


Where to Go 411 is a national web site that helps grow African-American enterprises by connecting them to both local and national buyers, such as universities, governmental entities, and majority companies to help them meet their diversity spending goals.’s principals are James E. Covington, an entrepreneur and author, and Kathy Y. Times, an Emmy award-winning former investigative reporter, anchor and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists.


Voting is now closed

NewU Startup Loft @ NABJ

Our social media producers April Simpson and Cristela Guerra at NABH have curated tweets and live blogging through Storify from the NewU Startup Loft at NABJ. 

NewU Startup Loft @ NABJ Day #1

NewU Startup Loft @ NABJ Day #2


NewU Startup Program Schedule

Click here to view 2013 NewU Startup Progam Schedule

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