May 30, 2012

And they're off! News entrepreneurs nominated for the (first) MADE:UK Startup Weekend

This much is clear: the participants selected for the MADE: UK Startup Weekend aren't cowards. 

Starting up a new business is never easy. But starting up a new media enterprise in the midst of what is some argue is the most severe economic downturn in recent memory takes real chutzpah

"That shone through all of the more than 90 expressions of interest that came from around the UK and as far afield as Eastern Europe, Africa, US and the Middle East," said MADE director  François Nel."Choosing amongst them was certainly not straightforward. But in the in end, we whittled the number down to 30. And they are all particularly talented. And diverse." 

Here are some of the key numbers:
  • 50 is percentage who have journalistic experience in the mainstream media
  • 42 is the percentage of women
  • 38 to 1 is the range of years of work experience in fields that include IT, film making, tourism management, art curating, public relations, marketing and education
  • 21 is the average years that the professional journalists have plied their trade 
  • 8 is the percentage of participants from outside the UK
  • 100 is the number of exceptionally creative individuals who plan to meet up from June 15-17 to spend 48 (or so) hours in the Media Factory in Preston with the express aim of working together to find innovative ways to build sustainable news enterprises.
At the end of the weekend, three to five projects will be selected for the MADE Hothouse, a 12-week business incubation support programme. 

In addition, the MADE participants will also have the opportunity to take part in DJCamp2012, a two-day data journalism workshop in September, that will be led by Paul Bradshaw  and the team from Scraperwiki. "If there are some extra spaces available, we'll open up the workshop to others," said Nel. 

While the discussions during MADE Startup Weekend will be subject to the Chatham House Rule ("We need to have a safe space for entrepreneurs to share sensitive information in confidence," said Nel), participants are being encouraged to share their own stories.

Throughout, the project activities are also be researched and, in the end, the team aim to share their findings in a series of MADE Insight Reports, said Nel. "We're doing our best to use the grant we got from winning the International Press Institute's inaugural News Innovation Contest to help as many news startup as we can to stay up."

The MADE: UK  2012 Project Participants are: 

Rachel Matthews
Stuart Goulden
Alan Qualtrough
Isah Momoh
Gemma Collins
James Oldfield
Jenny Shepherd
Angie Sammons
Paul Brotherton
Chris McCormack
Michael Niskin
Anne Gould
Claire Miller
Mary Ann Sieghart
Glenn McMahon
Melissa Allison-Forbes
Phil Creighton
Christopher Litherland
Michael Brightman
Alison Smith
Anthony Beswick
Scott Heslop
Simon Perry
Jonathan Frost
Mary-Ann  Horley
Rebecca Stasko
John Baron

The first call for participation in the MADE:Turkey Startup Weekend is expected to go out in the coming month.