Innovation Fund Open Call Is Live: Apply for $50K in Funding Now

by: | Jun 06, 2016

We are excited to announce the Open Call for the New Media Ventures Innovation Fund!

New Media Ventures catalyzes progressive change by funding amazing technology and media startups that 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 and access to NMV’s network of angel investors. Apply Now!

Our mission is to support innovators creating progressive change, and we are particularly interested in organizations that are building political power to do so. While we don’t have a “theme” or focus-area for this open call, we will pay particular attention to startups in the following areas:

  • Uses for cutting-edge technology (such as virtual reality, drones, artificial intelligence, or the blockchain) that could create breakthrough progressive change
  • Mobile-first campaigning technology
  • Campaigning innovations such as distributed organizing models and deep canvassing
  • Solutions to win battles for climate action or prepare front line communities for a just transition
  • Mission-driven media platforms

How do I apply?

The deadline for applications is Monday July 11, 2016 at 5 pm PT. Apply now!


We hosted an informational webinar on June 16th. If you missed it, you can access the recording here. We also encourage you to check-out our extensive FAQs.

What are we looking for?

The NMV Innovation Fund is a competitive application– we are looking to make 4-6 $50k investments and/or grants. The exact number of investments we make will depend on the quality and quantity of the applicant pool. You can check out our most recent investments here and here. Strong applications have the following components:

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? Join our informational webinar on June 16 at 1pm PT (it will be recorded and posted to our website if you can’t attend) and check-out our extensive FAQs.


Note: New Media Ventures typically solicits applications for funding twice a year via our Innovation Fund Open Call. The next Open Call will likely be in December 2016. We also review applications for later-stage startups throughout the year, contact us directly if you’re raising a larger round of funding and would like to chat.