Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange

Applications are now open for the Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange, an accelerator program, designed in partnership with community members, to support the region’s BIPOC media entrepreneurs through training, one-on-one coaching, and grantmaking.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 11:59 PM.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the program, and you can find more details in this slide deck:

What kinds of media entrepreneurs are you looking for? 

We are focused on media makers serving the greater Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. And, New Castle County, Delaware), especially entrepreneurs that are from and/or serve unserved or underserved BIPOC communities.

Can I apply if I work in a newsroom? 

Yes, if you have successfully launched (pitched, produced, fundraised for) a project internally and see opportunities to grow a product or service outside of the newsroom we consider you a media “intrapreneur.” We want to hear your ideas! 

Do I need experience?

If you have your own standalone media business, we are looking for media entrepreneurs with at least a year of business experience. If you are an intrapreneur, we are looking for people who have successfully launched an internal initiative and led it to completion. 

What type of support will I receive? 

As a participant in this program, you will receive funding, educational training and coaching, and the opportunity to apply for the additional follow-on funding. 

How much funding will I receive? 

The Entrepreneur Cohort is 8 – 10 media makers. Each organization will receive $10,000 ($5,000 upon acceptance and $5,000 upon completion of the program). While you are in the program, a pot of additional funding ($80,000 as of now) will be allocated to projects from Cohort participants. Cohort participants will provide input into how that funding is allocated. 

Can my team participate and apply? 

We request that one person,  the media entrepreneur themselves, commit to participating in the cohort. However, any additional team members are welcome to attend our educational workshops. 

What can I use this funding for?

Funding can be used to maintain, sustain, and grow operating budgets by: 

  • Stabilizing existing projects
  • Building operational capacity
  • Paying fixed expenses
  • Increasing salaries to reflect an equitable living wage
  • Hire and retain talent
  • Invest in education and skills development
  • Invest in developing and testing new ideas
  • Scale production of new products and services
  • Broaden audiences

How can I learn more? 

Please register here to attend an info session at noon EST on Friday, January 7 or Thursday, January 13 with Community Catalyst Jos Duncan Asé from Love Now Media and the Founders Exchange team.

How much time is expected of me to participate? 

We anticipate a 6-8 hour commitment each month, including: 

  • 2-hour thematic workshop
  • 1-hour interactive “classroom” session
  • 1-hour coaching session 
  • 30 minute – 1:1 monthly check-in with the Community Catalyst 
  • Informal opportunities for connection, inspiration, wellness and  joy 

In total: we ask participants to set aside 6 – 8 hours per month. 

What are the reporting requirements for the Founders Exchange? 

Each participant is expected to fill out brief surveys after each session to help us iterate and improve the program as we go, as well as a more detailed survey at the end of the Cohort experience. In addition, we expect each Cohort participant to share their company and idea at a final showcase at the end of the program. 

What is the deadline for applications? 

Please submit your application by Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

How do I apply? 

Please fill out this application.

When will I hear back? 

We will notify interview candidates by the end of January. The program will kickoff in early February. 

What if I have any other questions?

Please direct any questions about the program, the application process, or ways to further support the Founders Exchange or get involved to [email protected]