Our 2015 Innovation Fund is LIVE! Spread the Word and Apply.

by: | Jun 04, 2015

NMV EntrepreneursWe are excited to announce the launch of the next round of the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund!

New Media Ventures catalyzes progressive change by funding amazing technology and media startups who are making the world a better place. Our Innovation Fund finances early-stage, for-profit and nonprofit startups with $50K + participation in NMV’s startup support program + access to NMV’s network of angel investors. Apply Now.

For this Open Call, we are seeking to make investments and grants in scalable media startups. We define media broadly, including content creation, distribution and promotion. Some of the startups we have supported in the past include Upworthy, DailyKos and Story of Stuff. Join the ranks of a growing movement of media innovators for good!

How do I apply?

Deadline for applications is Monday June 29, 2015 at 5pm PT. Apply now!

What are we looking for?

The NMV Innovation Fund is a competitive application– we are looking to make 2-10 $50k investments and grants. The exact number of investments we make will depend on the quality and quantity of the applicant pool. While the best way to get a sense for the types of companies we fund is to look at our portfolio, here are some guidelines.

Scalable with a proof of concept

We are structure agnostic – meaning that we fund both for-profits and nonprofits. We look for startups with a user base (even if they are only beta users), demonstrated proof of concept and a clear plan for generating revenue and growth.

Strong, diverse team

The best startups have both the technical and business talent to create something great and then sell it. As a result, we are wary of start-ups that have outsourced their technical team, only have developers as co-founders or have B2B experience but want to build a consumer-facing solution. In addition, we look for teams who understand their customer base intimately. Ideally, the entrepreneur could be a customer for the product s/he is developing. The strongest teams also have an extensive network of potential customers, advisors and investors that will be there to help them succeed. Finally, we prefer teams that are diverse in gender, race, experiences and backgrounds because that builds resilience.


New Media Ventures has an explicitly progressive agenda – we care about environmental protection, economic equality, a thriving democracy and more.  The startups we support must be mission-driven, and seeking to make the world a better place.

Does this sound like you? Hooray. Apply here.

Questions? Email


Announcing our Innovation Fund!

by: | Oct 23, 2013

We’re psyched to announce New Media Ventures’ Innovation Fund — our first ever open call for nonprofit tech startups! Over the next two months, we intend to award grants ranging from $10k to $25k to nonprofit entrepreneurs that are using media and technology to drive progressive change.

Apply here!  And, be sure to check out our FAQs about the fund.

Why an Innovation Fund for nonprofits?

New Media Ventures has always maintained a commitment to supporting both for-profit and nonprofit startups. We believe that change comes in lots of different forms, and we’re excited by a new generation of entrepreneurs who aren’t limited by old models.

This philosophy has guided our work investing in the 11 organizations that currently make up NMV’s portfolio — they serve as a demonstration of what progressive political impact investing can look like. These entrepreneurs are revolutionizing the political landscape– expanding the reach of progressive ideas in everything from media distribution and content consumption to online organizing and small dollar fundraising.

Yet our experience has highlighted a gap in the availability of funding for early stage nonprofit innovation efforts. The NMV Innovation Fund is an experiment of sorts– to see if small grants to early stage nonprofits can begin to address this gap.

How do I apply?

The deadline for all applications is November 8th, 6pm PT. Apply here.

What are we looking for?

The NMV Innovation Fund is a competitive application — we anticipate awarding 5 – 10 grants ranging from $10k – $25k.

We are looking for entrepreneurs who demonstrate the following:

  • An eye towards scale

Media and technology are powerful tools that enable people to advocate and organize around the issues they care about at a scale previously unimaginable. We are looking for nonprofit organizations that are leveraging these tools to reach underrepresented populations.

  • A plan to generate revenue.

While we know that it takes time to become financially self-sufficient, applicants should have a growing user base, a diversified funding model, and a plan for financial sustainability.

  • A commitment to progressive change

Applicants should be working to create a progressive future — a future of social justice, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity and equal rights for all people. To create that future, they are unafraid to be political — working to engage more people in our democratic process, bringing in voices that have previously been left out.

A few more eligibility and funding requirements:

All applicants must be non-profit organizations exempt from taxation under either Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Applications should:

  • Present a strong theory of change.
  • Demonstrate how the effort fits into the broader progressive change field.
  • Demonstrate how this level of financing right now will make a significant difference to the trajectory of the project.

NMV aims to provide catalytic funding, and often serves as a validator to open doors to larger funding partners. Our hope is that a small amount of funding, awarded within a tight turn around period, can make a difference in creating momentum for new nonprofits.