A Year at New Media Ventures

by: | Dec 19, 2014

Whew. It has been quite the year.

At New Media Ventures, we support and finance early stage startups driving progressive change. We’ve spent 2014 building out our programming to ensure the startups we work with have both the capital and community of support they need to thrive as they grow.

Our flagship project this year has been the NMV Innovation Fund, a new fund focused on financing at the earliest stage.

As we head into 2015, we’re close to our fundraising goal, deep in diligence for the first round of financing, and proud to look back at the year that made it all happen.


6 Ways to Think Bigger

by: | Oct 24, 2014

At NMV, we’re committed to thinking bigger about how we fund progressive media and technology innovation. So, this week, we brought together a small group of NMV investors for a day and a half retreat to do just that.

Six ideas in particular had some momentum from the group, so we thought we would share to our broader community some seeds of ideas we’ve been kicking around at NMV.

1) People Powered Innovation Fund:

Small dollar donors, enabled by technology, have fundamentally changed fundraising in everything from the arts to political campaigns. What if small dollar donors could pool funds to provide risk capital for early stage progressive media and tech startups? Now that we have the NMV Innovation Fund in place, set up as a Donor Advised Fund, we could potentially open it up to small dollar donors. Imagine if the whole progressive movement–

NMV Innovation Fund is LIVE!

by: | Oct 17, 2014

UPDATE:  Deadline extended to Friday, November 21st at 6pm PT. 

We are excited to announce the launch of the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund!

For this round of financing, we are looking for early stage, for-profit companies using media and technology to drive progressive change. We aim to make $50k investments into 2 – 10 companies.

Sound like you? Apply here! Applications due November 17th, 6pm PT. Applications due November 21st, 6pm PT.

The NMV Innovation Fund is a new financing vehicle that is designed specifically to provide risk capital to early stage progressive media and tech startups.  The cool part is this– this new fund, a philanthropic fund housed at ImpactAssets, can make both grants and for profit investments. Any return made on for-profit investments will go back into the fund to continue funding innovative progressive media and tech startups.

Understanding Our Impact

by: | Oct 03, 2014

As early stage funders, our goal at New Media Ventures is to leverage relatively small amounts of money for a large impact.

Understanding this impact can be complicated– we don’t work on a specific issue, where progress can be tracked. Instead, we envision a world in which entrepreneurs have resources at every stage of growth to build media and tech startups that solve big civic and political problems, spanning a wide range of issues and sectors.

Given this complexity, I think about our impact in three ways: first, the financial impact we have as funders and investors; second, the social and political impact of the portfolio that we fund based on the metrics below, and third, the impact of our program and community building work to build out the sector.

Financial Impact of New Media Ventures’ Investments

First and foremost, our impact is through the direct funding we grant from our fund and the investments we oversee through our funder network.

Great New Tools Shootout 2014!

by: | Jul 31, 2014

NewToolsNN14 Winners

The Great Netroots Tools Shootout has been part of the Netroots Nation conference for the past 5 years, bringing all the newest innovations in progressive technology to the same stage. This year, Netroots, New Media Ventures and Google collaborated to produce the biggest New Tools Shootout yet.

The goal each year is to give the community of progressive tech innovators some inspiration and a deeper understanding of what the strategic landscape looks like. The shootout also highlights the work of these innovators to a broader community of political customers, amplifiers, advisors, and folks who can provide general support.

New this year, there were three categories in which entrants competed: Best Mobile or Facebook Application, Best New Feature or Product, and Best Startup Technology. Each finalist competed for the overall winner award.

40+ startups, products, and mobile applications put their names in the hat and applicants were invited to pitch their ideas or businesses in person at the Shootout.

Why getting together is important

by: | Jul 03, 2014

Last month, we gathered with New Media Ventures investors and entrepreneurs for the second annual NMV Summit. Check out our video for a taste of what went down.

New Media Ventures 2014 Summit from Panhandle Productions on Vimeo.

At the Summit, we heard 18 pitches from the companies and organizations within the NMV portfolio. From organizing millions of people online to win campaigns on gender equality and workplace safety, to providing key technology infrastructure to hundreds of progressive organizations, what this group has accomplished is absolutely extraordinary.

Here is what we learned:

Early money is super important.

For many startups in the portfolio, NMV was the first philanthropic donor or the lead investor in a seed round. We’ve found that a relatively small amount of money at the early stage, coupled with introductions to other funders and some fundraising guidance,

MBA Summer Fellowship

by: | Mar 18, 2014

We are excited to announce the 2014 New Media Ventures Summer Fellowship!

NMV Fellows are MBA students currently in between business school years or following graduation, who will spend summer 2014 with the New Media Ventures team.

About You:

You want to use your sharp analytical skills to evaluate business models, and are lit up by the opportunity to drive social change. You are fascinated by the nuances of evaluating both ROI and scale in the context of social impact, and you are intrigued by the whole idea of political impact investment.

You will be responsible for helping NMV source, manage and evaluate new deals, while thinking through new opportunities to scale our work.

A few musts:

  • Knowledge and passion about progressive politics and/or social entrepreneurship, with an eagerness to learn more

  • Strategic and analytical approach to evaluating startups and market opportunities

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Self-motivated,

What we learned launching our first-ever NMV Innovation Fund

by: | Feb 26, 2014

At the end of last year, we launched the NMV Innovation Fund — a designated fund exclusively for nonprofit technology efforts. Our goal was to create a fund focused on truly early stage nonprofit organizations. Earlier this year, we granted $25,000 each to 9 startup nonprofits to help them get off the ground.

The process was fun, challenging and taught us a ton. Here is a bit of what we learned.

3 things we learned about progressive startups:

  • Entrepreneurs are organizing new communities in new ways.
  • We’ve been impressed with the ways that entrepreneurs are thinking differently about how to engage people. Organizations like Berim, Groundswell, Faithful America, and Hollaback are seeking out new starting points for organizing– a common faith, a common country,