NewU

NewU 2014 Winners

About Go Baller

Chris Dell, founder and CEO of Go Baller.

Chris Dell, founder and CEO of Go Baller.

Go Baller is a platform for curating the world’s best social media content. Go Baller collects the most viral and best trending content on social media and puts it in one place, personalized for each client. Our technology empowers brands to monetize their social media through increased engagement metrics, sponsorship revenues and mobile commerce. Go Baller can easily embed and plug into clients’ mobile apps and websites, in addition to providing analytics, user data and insights for brands to better market and get to know each of their users. Go Baller is here to declutter social media, one topic at a time.”


About kweliTV

DeShuna Spencer, founder/CEO of kweliTV.

DeShuna Spencer, founder/CEO of kweliTV.

kweliTV is an interactive, web-­based TV network that will offer a vast selection of on-demand independent films, web shows and documentaries geared to black consumers globally and will produce original news videos, historical and cultural non-fiction web shows and documentaries focusing on social, political, economic and health issues affecting people of African descent. It will be accessible on smartTVs, internet TV devices (such as Apple TV and Roku), smartphones, game consoles, computers and tablets through a video app. Website: www.kweli.tv

UNITY announces NewU 2014 Winners

The New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY project announced today that its two 2014 seed grant winners have been selected based on a weighted judges vote (90%) combined with a crowd-sourced peer vote (10%).

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 2104 start-up camps. Each winner will receive $20,000 in seed grant money to help fund their business, said Co-Directors Alli Joseph and Doug Mitchell.

The 2014 winners are:

  • DeShuna Spencer, Founder of “KweliTV”.
  • Chris Dell, CEO/Founder of “Go Baller”

“I’m truly humbled and honored to receive this $20,000 grant from NewU,” said DeShuna Spencer. “The idea for kweliTV came to me after becoming frustrated with the negative images of blacks in the media and the lack of quality content on cable TV and streaming services. I think it is important for communities of color to control our images through media ownership. That’s why I am so excited about winning this grant.”

Chris Dell also shared his excitement. “”We at Go Baller are so thankful for this opportunity. Our team is more motivated than ever before to deliver a great product and to build a great business! I’d like to offer a personal thank you to Doug Mitchell, Alli Joseph, the Ford Foundation and UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. They created this, they were the founders and innovators of this special startup competition, and none of this would be possible without them. It’s time to take things to the next level!”

In 2014, seven companies attended one of two 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 November, UNITY and NewU asked members and the rest of the web community to vote for the best business concepts.

The NewU project delivers training boot camps and strategic mentorship to develop and nurture the entrepreneurship skills of journalists of color and prepare them for media business ownership. New U, in its fifth year, 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. “Year to year, we adjust our programming to address the needs of the shifting entrepreneurial journalism industry,” said Alli Joseph, program co-Director. “Our New U fellows are the people we expect to see as strong leaders in the diverse start-up community over the next decade.”

For more information about the grant winners and their projects, go to: http://unityjournalists.org/newu/newu-2014/newu-2014-winners/

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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 www.unityjournalists.org 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.

NewU 2014

The New U project provides entrepreneurship training at the conventions of UNITY alliance partners and other journalism associations during summer and fall months. Training includes modules designed to build and/or improve skills on business plan writing, marketing, presentation, market research and analysis, networking, budgeting, and branding.

This year’s program will offer two competitive camps to which entrepreneurs must apply their company and be chosen by a panel of business leaders, thinkers, and educators.  These camps will have open sessions that any conference attendee can join; these are intended to grow the number of participating journalist entrepreneurs, and will include a competition for selected companies – awarding two $20,000 start-up seed grants at the end of the program cycle.

These grants will reward and fund the most innovative, best ideas and the winners are selected by a panel of judges and an online vote this fall.  New U was first funded by the Ford foundation in 2010 to help increase the number of diverse, innovative idea-makers by providing them a platform on which to advance ideas. It is a project driven by committed volunteer mentors, speakers and motivated, competitive participants.

New U acts as a conduit for access to development capital and a network of like-minded people, creating the opportunity for entrepreneurial journalists to succeed in new ways.

New U directors are Doug Mitchell, founder/creator and project manager of NPR’s “Next Generation Radio,” and Alli Joseph, a producer, journalist and entrepreneur.

Information and dates for New U will be distributed through UNITY and alliance partner websites, newsletters and other member communication outlets July 1, 2014.

Questions? Contact program directors Doug Mitchell and Alli Joseph with questions or to express interest in New U 2014.

NewU 2014 Director Biographies

Doug Mitchell

DOUG_MITCHELL (3)Doug is a nationally recognized media trainer, project strategist, subject matter expert and career coach. In short, this means he’s quite busy. A former Knight International Press Fellow and William S. Fulbright Scholar to Chile, Doug also has spent over 25 years as a producer, director and now consultant with NPR in Washington DC. While a producer at NPR, Doug helped found and then lead two professional development programs targeting college age and early to mid-career journalists. One was called “next generation radio” and the other was “Intern Edition.” Currently, he’s co-director of a start-up camp funded by The Ford Foundation to develop journalists of color become media CEO’s. This program was just renewed for 2013-14. He’s a member of two Boards, Chair of the NABJ Media Institute and recently appointed to a Peer Review committee for the Fulbright Commission. Doug does say what he thinks, but only when asked and with a focus on being helpful.

 

Alli Joseph

alli joseph

Alli Joseph is a senior producer, interactive media and branding consultant, once and future journalist, writer and published author.  As co-director of “New U: News Entrepreneurs Working Through UNITY, she helps program and lectures on personal branding.  When not working to advance opportunities for journalists of color, Alli runs a personal history story-saving company called Seventh Generation Stories (www.7genstories.com), and consults for companies and advertising agencies looking to increase client brand reach online using integrated marketing/branded video or mobile offerings.  Her past clients include large media companies like Scripps, Grey Advertising, Ogilvy, Newscorp, Viacom, Cablevision, Yahoo, AOL, Time Inc., and Hachette Filipacchi. Alli is a Harper Collins author; her writing has also appeared in George, Premiere, Maxim, Playboy, Auto Aficionado, The New York Daily News, Mercedes Momentum, The Miami Herald, People Magazine, The New York Post, and many other magazines and newspapers.  A 2007 McCormick Tribune Foundation Fellow and a 2010 Poynter Institute Fellow, Alli has already taught her five-year-old about brands and logos.

New U 2013 Winners Announced

December 10, 2013

Media contact:

Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director

walt@unityjournalists.org
(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.

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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 www.unityjournalists.org 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.

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