Matter Ventures, a media startup accelerator founded by Corey Ford has opened up their second accelerator office in New York with the help of the New York Times and Google News Lab. Initially they were based only in San Francisco.
Matter Ventures primarily supports startups in the field of MEDIA which are passionate about bringing change to the current set of norms and are working towards making society more informed, connected and empowered.
Matter Ventures is a team of 100+ entrepreneurs, 40+ portfolio companies, 10 partner organizations, and 150+ mentors.
“We think that this is a unique opportunity for us at The Times to observe, participate, and maximize our exposure to design thinking, and the transparency Matter brings to the process. If I could send 200 people through the Matter bootcamp, I would, because the need to innovate really permeates the entire organization.” Said the NYT’s CTO, Nick Rockwell.
“From the moment I started talking with the team at Matter, I was impressed by their vision to build an independent accelerator focused only on early-stage media startups. There didn’t seem to be anything else quite like it out there. As I joined the group of mentors that Matter brought in to speak with their portfolio companies, I was struck by how they approached that vision: a rigorous design-thinking program, a series of reviews that focused on the various aspects of building a media company, a robust network of mentors, and a “fail fast, learn quickly” culture. All of this resonated with our values at the Google News Lab, and we wanted to do what we could to help.” Said Google News Lab’s Director, Steve Grove.
Google News Lab joined the board of Matter Ventures as their first technology partner and provides mentorship to startups.
How does it work?
Matter is a media accelerator program run by Corey Ford along with group of mentors and partners who mentor new budding entrepreneurs on achieving their goals. This year, out of 687 applications they have shortlisted 13 applications out of which six will based out of San Francisco and seven will be based out of New York.
They invest US $50K for 20 weeks in which startups need to identify their target customers, build prototype structure and get traction.
The 20 week long program starts with Design Thinking Bootcamp followed by Design review every month in which startups make their pitch and receive feedback from community which helps them in preparing for the final Demo Day.
This year the program will cover both locations: Bootcamp and Design Review Zero in San Francisco, and Design Review Two in New York. It will have Demo Days in both location.
Image Source: Matter.vc
List of Startups shortlisted:
In San Francisco:
- Cleo: Makes it easy for millennials to manage their smartphone photo libraries by using computer vision and AI to curate meaningful albums.
- Common: Breaks down language barriers for friends, family and the business community through a translated messaging platform.
- Discors: Takes busy people who want to be informed beyond the headlines by pairing the day’s top stories with insights from experts unbundled into one mobile app.
- Itavio: Empowers parents with the tools to manage and support their children’s gaming, enabling the $22 billion dollar mobile games market to form better relationships with its customers.
- Kira Kira: Empowers generation Z girls to learn the foundations of mechanical engineering, architecture, and design through online 3D modeling courses that lead to real creations.
- Thankroll: Empowers creators to create the work they love by providing them with a sustainable income from a community of fans with whom they have a meaningful connection.
In New York:
- Ballstar: Provides a way for all up-and-coming basketball players to track their performance throughout their careers via a statskeeping app and web platform.
- Gol Labs: Brings the world’s 3.5B soccer fans together with a data-light mobile platform.
- Menagerie: Empowers modern couples with a personalized, online wedding planning experience by combining data-driven recommendations with the ability to instantly book and pay wedding vendors.
- Scout: Builds community around science fiction and journalism via weekly online dispatches about the social implications of technology.
- Stella: Saves filmmakers time and money by centralizing all aspects of the filmmaking process on an intelligent production management platform.
- This.: Reimagines how much content you get and how you get it by bringing together the top curators of the web’s best entertainment, art, and journalism to surface under-discovered, relevant content.
- Treepress: Streamlines discovery and licensing of scripted literature by connecting producers, directors, publishers and agents with content on a smart, searchable platform driven by AI.
They believe in “Fail fast to achieve product/market fit sooner”.