Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.

Throughout 2012, innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate in three challenge rounds, each with focused topics on emerging trends.

Round 1 - on networks - is closed, and the winners will be announced June 18.

Round 2 - on data - will be open May 31 - June 21. We’re looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day. Winners will be announced in late September.

Details on Round 3 will available later this year.

Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.

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1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

Scale the private listserv I run for female leaders in technology/media into an open network of and for women. 

2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]

No. This segment is vastly underserved. There are massive information asymmetries between men and women that broaden over time. This network will correct them through curation, crowdsourcing and social connection.  

3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]

I plan to formalize The List (at www.TheLi.st) as an email newsletter featuring curated news, original features and key resources for entrepreneurs. I plan to build an associated social network with profiles featuring members and, where germane, their rates. This will vastly improve visibility, access and opportunies for women.

4. Why will it work? [100 words]

I have already seen it work - incredibly well, and incredibly fast - within the context of the private, ad-hoc listserv for women that I currently run. Women sharing information, contacts, opportunities, war stories, giving each other props and encouragement, using each other’s wisdom, networks and resources to pull each other upward - it has been incredible to watch. There is huge demand for this, one I can’t fill alone, on the side.  

It’s not just for women - The List will be a key resource for anyone - and, as a portal to amazing women, for VCs as well.

5. Who is working on it? [100 words]

Right now it is just me. I have an extensive network of terrific women involved, whose incredible contributions power the listserv with multiple postings (and incredibly high repeat viewership) per day,  but I run and moderate the listserv, organize events and make connections among members and provide offline connection that I am desperate to automate. I have concepted a shared-equity model of 20 advisers, mostly women, each with 0.5% of The List, helping it grow and develop. Thus far, eight are on board.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]

I come to this table with a listserv of almost 300 women, and a deep bench of nominations and requests to join. I also come with an extensive network across media, tech, business and entertainment that I have been working with consistently in the process of building Change The Ratio, the not-for-profit organization/movement I co-founded in spring 2010 to elevate and de-invisibilize awesome women through increasing visibility, leading to increased access and increased opportunities. Almost two years later, Change The Ratio is a well-known brand ready to be taken to the next level.

7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]

Sponsors, advertisers and premium events - on one hand, creating incredible learning and networking opportunities for our high-level membership, and on the other, providing sponsors and advertisers access to their brain and market power via targeted campaigns and visibility opportunities. This network is already amazing - wait ‘til it scales. 

Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $250,000 
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 12 months (4 to build the infrastructure, 8 more to become self-sustaining)
Total Project Cost: $500,000 

Name: Rachel Sklar
Twitter: @rachelsklar
Organization: Change The Ratio
Country: USA (via Canada)

People Who Liked This Post

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  6. changetheratio reblogged this from newschallenge1 and added:
    So! CTR is on the move. We love how far we’ve come (seriously, that #changetheratio hashtag is like the best batsignal...
  7. emilygannett reblogged this from newschallenge1 and added:
    LOVE IT!
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  11. mdfsmash reblogged this from newschallenge1 and added:
    Go Rachel!!!
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  13. erinredstamp reblogged this from newschallenge1 and added:
    don’t know Rachel Sklar {yet},...soon. This woman
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