Jake posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | Blog, Press Releases | No Comments
Today is Matter Demo Day! See below for the official press release.
[UPDATE: here is some press coverage of demo day, including "Public Media Collides with Silicon Valley at Matter Accelerator; Six Startups Emerge"]
[UPDATE: applications for Matter's next round are now open, and info sessions posted in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago].
The first class of 6 startups is graduating from our four-month accelerator program in San Francisco. This is a major milestone for Matter, and for each of the teams it is an important ritual of startup life – pitching in front of a room full of investors and media.
PRX is a founding partner of Matter, with Knight Foundation and KQED as the cornerstone investors in our first fund.
Since we launched Matter last December I’ve been bouncing between Cambridge and San Francisco to work with managing partner Corey Ford and director of operations Jigar Mehta to help guide this remarkable class of entrepreneurs to this moment.
It’s an outstanding group of people, all passionate about their products, their teams, and the shared mission to change media for good.
Today we are also opening the applications for Matter Two – our next accelerator class starting in October. Please help us spread the word to find extraordinary mission-driven entrepreneurs with a vision for a more informed, connected, and empowered society. We’ll be hosting info sessions over the next several weeks in Boston, New York, Washington DC and Chicago.
Matter is a community and we are always expanding our network of mentors, advisors, partners and sponsors. Join us!
CEO, PRX Inc.
Download photos here: http://imgur.com/a/lVEZs#1
MATTER, NEW STARTUP ACCELERATOR FOR MEDIA VENTURES,
SHOWCASES INAUGURAL CLASS AT FIRST-EVER DEMO DAY
Matter kicks off call for applications for its second class; deadline is July 28th
San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2013) – At the first demo day hosted by Matter, the media startup accelerator backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, six media startups today made their case for capital and highlighted how their ventures can help build a more informed, connected, and empowered society.
Fusing public media values with the methods and mindsets of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter invests in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that have a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model.
For the six teams that comprise Matter’s first class, today’s presentation to a select group of investors, media executives, and mentors marked the culmination of an intense four-month program. Participants were provided with a $50,000 investment and working space in Matter’s co-working facility in San Francisco’s tech-friendly SoMa neighborhood. Each team participated in a bootcamp focused on building scalable media ventures with a human-centered, prototype-driven design process, as well as a regular series of design reviews, speaker sessions, and mentoring meetings with entrepreneurs, investors, and media executives.
The six startups that presented at Matter’s first demo day address the many ways audiences consume media (reading, listening, watching, interacting) while also empowering audiences to participate and create media in their own ways. The ventures, which include participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services, and content production engines, are:
- ChannelMeter is a professional grade analytics platform for publishers and brands focused on maximizing and engaging audiences in online video.
- InkFold is a reading list compiled automatically from your gmail that turns your friends into a reading club.
- Mixation is a network of online TV stations that anyone can create.
- OpenWatch is an investigative network for creating a just society through radical transparency.
- SpokenLayer SpokenLayer unmutes the written web. We partner with publishers to turn articles into audio read by real people..
- Zeega is revolutionizing interactive storytelling for a future beyond blogs, enabling anyone to express themselves by easily combining media from the cloud.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what these six ventures have accomplished in the last four months,” said Matter Managing Partner Corey Ford. “The goal was to have them continuously test and iterate on their venture to make it more and more relevant to their audiences and more and more viable for investors while maintaining their focus on building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. They’ve done just that.”
“Matter itself is a start-up, and today marks a major milestone in our mission to change media for good,” said Jake Shapiro, Matter Partner and CEO of PRX. “This remarkable group of entrepreneurs now forms the nucleus of Matter’s expanding community of mentors, partners, and investors.”
“KQED invested in Matter to connect public media to the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and attract new ideas, technologies, and creative entrepreneurs with ventures that intersect with our mission of media for the public good,” said KQED President John Boland. “All six of the start-ups participating in this first Matter demo day fit that description, and their interactions with KQED staff have been mutually beneficial. Matter is off to a great start.”
“Matter is using entrepreneurial approaches to drive innovation in public media,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation Vice President of Journalism and Media Innovation. “By supporting the first-ever Matter demo day, we are providing start-ups with the opportunities they need to build their ideas and contribute to a more informed society.”
Applications for Matter’s second class, which will begin in October 2013, are being accepted today through July 28, 2013.
Any media startups with multi-disciplinary teams who have early-stage prototypes,an apply. Information sessions for potential applicants will be held in five cities over the next month: San Francisco (June 19, July 9), Boston (June 25), New York City (June 26), Washington, D.C. (June 27), and Los Angeles (July 10). For the first time, Matter will be accepting applications using AngelList. For information, application guidelines, and the schedule for Matter information sessions, go to www.matter.vc.
Fusing public media values with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter is a start-up accelerator supporting media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, . Matter invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. For more information visit http://matter.vc/press/.
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services, and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please visit knightfoundation.org.
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature PRX programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps for public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine and Public Radio Player. For more information, please visit www.prx.org/about-us/press.
Jake posted on Monday, May 13th, 2013 | Blog, Press Releases, PRX | 1 Comment
PRX is always looking for ways to improve distribution tools and platforms for producers. While we have mostly focused on getting completed programs to audiences across broadcast and digital, we are also increasingly hearing from producers and stations that the task of managing audio archives is a constant challenge.
So when we first heard of the remarkable efforts of Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith – the dynamic duo behind Pop Up Archive (winner of the 2012 Knight News Challenge) – we knew we should join forces.
An awesome partnership was born, and for the last several months PRX’s development team has been working with Anne and Bailey to create an easy-to-use web application that archives audio and a lot more.
Today the official announcement of the Pop Up Archive beta site is out (see below), and interested producers can request an invite to take it for a spin.
Among other things, the Pop Up Archive:
- Generates automatic transcripts and keywords so that audio is both searchable and easy to organize.
- Provides access to an archive of sound from around the world.
- Has options for both private and public storage.
- Saves time and money for producers, creators, radio stations, media organizations, and archives of all stripes.
Pop Up Archive is integrated with PRX so members of both can use their existing accounts, and will have the option of publishing their audio to PRX for distribution.
Contact: Anne Wootton, 510-463-4066, email@example.com
Pop Up Archive to create open search and access for audio
Web platform stores, transcribes, and organizes digital media
We gather sound to tell stories. Memories fade and material can easily get lost or degrade. But when it’s easy to archive, it’s easy to find the threads that create stories when you need them.
OAKLAND, Calif. – (May 13, 2013) – Pop Up Archive and PRX are elated to announce the launch of Pop Up Archive, a web-based system that brings audio to life. The service is a lightweight web application that allows users to search and access audio files from anywhere, opening a door for content creators and journalists to strengthen their work. It is currently being developed as an invitation only pilot, but will open to the public in summer 2013.
Pop Up Archive allows media creators to save, organize and find audio without installing any software or managing a server. The system is capable of ingesting large amounts of digital sound and providing automated transcripts with subject tags, timestamps and robust indexing for powerful search. Visitors to Pop Up Archive can also access a quickly growing database of international sound from oral history archives, universities, media organizations and individual collectors. With this audio comes the potential to liberate undiscovered histories, bring new voices into media, and make archiving an integral and painless part of production workflows.
“Most small and independent multimedia publishers have not developed good systems for archiving and sharing their work,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “Pop Up Archive opens a real opportunity for these content creators to increase the value of their work by allowing them to organize and access audio content and preserve it for future generations.”
Pop Up Archive is a winner of Knight Foundation’s 2012 News Challenge.
Voices from archives around the world are waiting to be discovered in previously
Interested producers can request an invite at popuparchive.org to join the beta test. Pop Up Archive provides unlimited free public storage through the Internet Archive, a San Francisco nonprofit founded to build an Internet library with permanent access to historical collections that exist in digital format. For more sensitive material, private storage options are also available.
The entire Pop Up Archive system will be free for a limited time, with tiered service plans in the future. Planned future improvements to the service include editable transcripts and keywords, additional options for handling rights and access to audio, group memberships and enterprise services for digital audio collections.
For larger media organizations, Pop Up Archive acts as a layer on top of existing content management systems and production workflows. Its simple web interface integrates with reporter habits to strengthen newsrooms — no clunky software. A simple drag-and-drop functionality allows users to add audio that becomes immediately searchable with context beyond the typical YouTube search result. Pop Up Archive is building a dynamic archival body of content that can be easily searched and accessed via API, informed by related efforts such as the American Archive Content Inventory Project and the Public Media Platform.
Request an invite today at popuparchive.org for a free account to start making your audio searchable. Archive entire collections of raw audio and completed work — save time and rediscover amazing material by revolutionizing how you organize it.
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, Radiolab, and Public Radio Player. Contact: Jason Gordon, 2126278098; jason [at] pkpr [dot] com.
About Pop Up Archive
Pop Up Archive is building a collection of sound from around the world with partners and clients from a growing body of media organizations, oral history archives, and journalists. Born at the UC Berkeley School of Information and supported by the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the system is a lightweight web application that makes audio searchable without requiring technical expertise from users. Contact: Anne Wootton, 5104634066; edison [at] popuparchive [dot] org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org. Contact: Andrew Sherry, 3059082677; media [at] knightfoundation [dot] org.
Genevieve posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 | Blog, Global Story Project | No Comments
This post is part of our series highlighting productions from our Global Story Project.
Have you ever thought of your home town as having its own sound? What about how different your city probably sounded 90 years ago?
Moscow-based producer Charles Maynes introduces us to composer Arseny Avraamov, whose 1923 Symphony of Sirens, with no existing recordings, makes it the stuff of legend… and perfect for a creative, experimental audio piece. Take a listen to The Symphony of Sirens, Revisited:
Charles filled us in on what attracted him to Avraamov and his symphony:
“You know, this is a story I first became fixated on several years ago but had no idea how to make. How do you produce a radio story about a music performance from nearly a hundred years ago that no one had recorded? I didn’t know. And so after doing a bit of research, I decided there wasn’t enough ‘there’ to carry a story. So I did what I thought was the smart thing — I dropped it.
“I guess in that way, the title of the story — ‘Symphony of Sirens, Revisited’ — is truer than you might think. With a gentle nudge from PRX (my way of saying thanks!), this is literally me taking another swing at the Avraamov legend. I still don’t know if it ‘works’, but I do find it interesting to think, production-wise, about the little things I do now vs. what I would have done then. The conceit of the piece was to do it as a (kind of) detective story, but the mechanics of the production involved attention to transitions, pacing, and the occasional hint of audio pyrotechnics. Production tricks, in other words. They may not be good tricks, but they’re my tricks — except, of course, for the ones I stole!”
Rekha posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 | Blog, Tech | No Comments
Please vote now to help us get a People’s Voice Award!
We worked closely with the Radiolab team and design gurus One Trick Pony to build a beautiful app that also does things. Listen to the entire archive, read the blog (yick alert: latest post is about eating cicadas), and even submit audio, text, or images in response to various assignments.
(Originally posted on our PRX apps blog.)
When worlds collide… sounds like the title to a Moth show, no?
Well, worlds are really colliding here tonight. PRX’s Lead Software Developer, Rebecca Nesson, will be telling a story at the Moth Mainstage at the Somerville Theatre, just a couple T stops up from our office. Mainstages are The Moth’s flagship shows with hand-picked storytellers.
At a Boston open mic Moth StorySLAM in February, Becca put her name in the hat and was called up to tell her story. The audience reception was fantastic, the story was beautiful, and the Moth asked her to tell it at tonight’s sold-out Mainstage. The theme tonight is Learning Curves and will include five storytellers. We’ll be there rooting her on.
In other news…
Moth StorySLAMS are expanding to more cities throughout the U.S. PRXer Audrey Mardavich has been producing sold-out SLAMS in Boston for six months, so another one has been added by audience demand. The new SLAM is produced by yours truly (Genevieve Sponsler).
As mentioned, SLAMS are open mic, so you never know who will get up on stage… come put your name in the hat!
(Sign up on the Moth mailing list and choose your city to get the latest info.)
(Hey, stations: Get on board with Moth popularity by airing The Moth Radio Hour weekly.)
Photo by Allison Evans.
Genevieve posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 | Blog, STEM Story Project | No Comments
During last week’s STEM Story Project webinar, a few producers expressed interest in a place they could chat about collaboration, science topics, budgeting, etc. So here you go: PRX STEM Story Project open group on Facebook.
Genevieve posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 | Blog, STEM Story Project | No Comments
We had a lot of producers at our PRX STEM Story Project webinar today. Thanks to all who hung out with us on a Friday afternoon!
The webinar covered our latest a new competition for funding to create audio productions. Many questions were answered. (Application and guidelines can be found here.)
On the call are PRX Managing Director John Barth and PRX Content Coordinator Genevieve Sponsler. Listening in is PRX STEM Associate Lily Bui.
Genevieve posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 | Blog, Global Story Project, PRX | No Comments
This is second in our series of posts highlighting productions from our Global Story Project.
Rwanda is the land of a thousand hills located in the
heart of Africa. An old saying goes “Rwanda is the
place where God comes to rest”.
April 6th is the 19th anniversary of the beginning of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
In I Am Not the Only One from producer Arndt Peltner, two men who were children during the genocide look back and describe how they moved forward. Their parents were killed, they lost their community, and had to fight for their lives. Hear their stories:
Now for the backstory: Arndt wrote to us about his experience reporting this project.
“I have been travelling to Rwanda for some years, fascinated by the countryside and its people. But as a visitor you will notice very fast, that you can’t oversee the brutal history of the genocide. It doesn’t matter who you are talking with, at one point the question will come up, what they experienced in 1994, who they lost in the slaughter, how they survived, if parents or relatives or friends were victims or perpetrators.
“I met Richard through some friends at the German embassy, he started to work for them as a translator a while ago, translating for raped women in the eastern part of the Congo. Germany has some perpetrators of the war crimes in the Congo on trial.
“Freddy I met through researching another story about Rwanda at the genocide memorial. He was very open about what he experienced.”
Lily posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 | Blog, PRX, STEM Story Project | No Comments
Don’t try this at home. | Image from Shutterstock
A big thank you to all of you who were able to join us for some STEM-ulating conversation last Friday for #PRXSTEMchat!
In case you missed it, we put together a Storify highlighting our favorite moments.
PRX held the tweetchat to discuss our latest audio experiment, the STEM Story Project. We engaged interested producers, journalists, bloggers, educators, and enthusiasts in an hour-long conversation about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
PRX will also hold one STEM project webinar on Friday, April 5 at 2PM ET to answer questions — register here.
If you can’t make or wait for the webinar, email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. But read the application and guidelines first!
Genevieve posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | Blog, Global Story Project, PRX | No Comments
This is the first in a series of posts highlighting productions from our Global Story Project.
A street in Zeytinburnu, one of the neighborhoods
under earthquake risk.
An Overnight Metropolis is the story of city dynamics, eminent domain, and mother nature — and how they affect what we call home.
Producer Ashley Cleek takes us to Zeytinburnu, a district in Istanbul where many live in housing that may not withstand an earthquake. And with the city due for another major earthquake where two-thirds of the city’s three million homes could be at risk, residents are being asked to move. Take a listen (and check out a companion article from Ashley published in The Atlantic online!):
And now, the backstory: Ashley wrote to us about her experience reporting this project.
“Being able to return to a neighborhood multiple times allowed for a couple of key advantages in reporting. It allowed me to keep track of politicians’ promises and forecasts and actually hold them accountable for what they had said six months prior.
“Also, it’s not easy to let a stranger into your house, especially a foreigner with a microphone, but after returning to the neighborhood several times, families began to recognize me and trust me, as a journalist with a real interest in their neighborhood. People started calling me into their businesses to talk or haranguing their neighbors to stop and speak to me. It allowed for surprising character development. On one visit I met a man named ‘Zafer’ who was so suspicious of the government and his neighbors that he carried his apartment deed in his coat pocket and wouldn’t talk about the urban transformation in public.
“On my final trip to Zeytinburnu a few months later, I was walking down the street to catch the bus home when Zafer shouted from his window that he had changed his mind and was going with the government’s plan. That was the most surprising moment, to see a person change, and through his example possibly a neighborhood. None of that would have happened in a single day of reporting or without the help of PRX.”
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