2015 Innovation Grants Winners
2015 grant winners – full profiles coming soon:
June 25, 2015: MEDIA ALERT: 2015 Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism winners announced
Six outstanding media projects will receive cash grants in the second year of the Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism.
Projects spanning fashion and culture, health journalism, ebook publishing, remote support for small businesses, mapping and magazine design will share in the pool of $70,000 in seed funding from partners Google Australia and CAL’s Cultural Fund.
The Walkley Foundation aims to celebrate and encourage great Australian journalism, telling the stories of our nation and strengthening our democracy. Now in its second year, the grants program is central to the Walkleys’ mission to encourage and support innovation in the Australian media.
Sydney-based MyCatalogue, a fashion and culture platform powered by an innovative e-commerce model, receives the largest grant of $25,000. Karina Brindley and the Elevate Media team from Queensland will receive a $20,000 grant to realise their idea for a digital platform linking regional business leaders.
Four other projects will each receive a $5,000 kickstart for their projects, an endorsement they can leverage into further support for their broader goals. They are Melissa Sweet & the Croakey team, Charlotte Harper’s Editia, the Chart Collective team and ISSIMO.IO.
The judges agreed that it was difficult to divide the pool of funding among so many promising ideas. All projects on the long list were outstanding, and crystallised their ideas and pitches at workshops in Sydney and Melbourne in April.
Judge James Kirby said the panel were delighted to get such a big response and a wider spectrum of media innovation from this year’s entrants.
“This is the second year of the awards and we have expanded and improved the process of both judging and rewarding successful applicants. This year’s winners range from ambitious websites that can scale to become global players, to niche regional enterprises that can make media relevant to the wider community in a new way.”
The funded projects are:
- Courtney Sanders, “MyCatalogue”: A fashion and culture content platform, monetised via a state-of-the-art e-commerce affiliate program that supports local, independent fashion designers.
- Karina Brindley & team, “Elevate Business Leaders Forum”: A platform for regional business leaders to share their business journey in a digital story format.
- Chart Collective team, “Chart Collective”: An online multimedia platform that plots stories of place and environment, working toward an expanded interactive map format.
- Charlotte Harper, “Editia”: Editia will work with journalists to publish expanded versions of their in-depth feature articles as standalone publications in ebook form or via print on demand.
- Melissa Sweet & the Croakey team, “Croakey”: Transforming the Croakey blog into a new online platform to showcase its innovative health and public service journalism.
- Jay Cooper, Nick Cooper & Veronica Ridge, “ISSIMO.IO”: A sophisticated yet simple digital platform that enables journalists without technical or marketing skills to edit and publish a viable digital publication.
All six projects will be featured on the Walkley website, sharing updates from their entrepreneurial journeys. They will also receive support from program partners Google, CAL and the innovation program’s new legal partners, General Standards Startup Lawyers.
“The possibilities of storytelling in the digital age are being well-explored by these impressive projects,” said Annie Baxter, Head of Communications for Google Australia. “We’re so pleased to be supporting the next generation of journalists who are taking their profession forward into the next age.”
“The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund is delighted to be able to support this wonderful initiative of the Walkleys,” said Cultural Fund Manager, Zoë Rodriguez. “Through activities like this, Australian creators are being supported to adapt to the dynamic and evolving online and connected environment in imaginative and useful ways.”
More than 110 people from around Australia applied for the second year of the grants, judged by:
- James Kirby, managing editor of Eureka Report
- Ramin Marzbani, leading technology, internet and financial services analyst
- Jigar Mehta, digital entrepreneur and current head of engagement at AJ+
- Jacqui Park, CEO of the Walkley Foundation
Walkley Foundation CEO Jacqui Park said that through sharing their stories these projects will form the heart of a growing community of media innovators in Australia.
“We’re so excited to support the range of ideas and passionate teams funded through the Walkley Grants this year,” Ms Park said. “It will be fascinating to follow their journeys to develop their projects, and we’ll be sharing these journeys to inspire other future media entrepreneurs.”
For more information please contact Clare Fletcher: 02 9333 0925 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About our judges:
James Kirby is one of Australia’s most experienced financial journalists. He is managing editor of online investment site Eureka Report and a columnist with The Weekend Australian. He was a co-founder and shareholder in Australian Independent Business Media – publisher of Business Spectator and Eureka Report – which was taken over by News Ltd in 2012.
Ramin Marzbani is an independent board director and technology investor. He has specialised in the painful sector of seed and start-up funding in Australian technology. In his previous lives, he was involved with IBM, Booz-Allen and www.consult (ACNielsen). He serves on the Smart Services CRC board, and he previously served on the Telstra Broadband Fund board and various advisory boards such as Lazard Asia Pacific Asset Management. He has an MBA from AGSM and a BE from UNSW.
Jigar Mehta is a digital entrepreneur, documentary filmmaker and journalist. He works at the intersection of media, technology and innovation. Jigar is currently the head of Engagement at AJ+, a recently launched digital-only news channel, headquartered in San Francisco, California. He is a founding team member of Matter Ventures, a start-up accelerator and early stage venture capital firm that supports and invests in media entrepreneurs building ventures that make society more informed, connected, and empowered. Prior to joining Matter, he co-founded Groupstream, a collaborative storytelling platform. It is a startup that grew out of the acclaimed web native documentary project, 18 Days in Egypt, Mehta was a 2010 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Before Stanford, Mehta was a reporter and video journalist for The New York Times. Mehta has a Masters in Journalism and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jacqui Park is executive director of the Walkley Foundation. Working with the Walkley board, Jacqui sets the strategic direction of the Walkley Foundation, identifying new programs and relationships to support its aims. She oversees the Walkley innovation program and is program director for the flagship Storyology summit. She is also the founding editor of The Walkley Magazine: Inside the Media in Australia and New Zealand.
The inaugural winners of the Walkley Grants were announced in June 2014. Brisbane journalist and academic Skye Doherty was awarded $25,000 to develop an online platform for her unique storytelling concept “NewsCubed”, while Tim Dunlop and Hugh Martin, from Melbourne, got $10,000 to build a business and content strategy for “The News Franchise”. “Youth Bytes”, a project by Stephen Turner, will use a $5,000 grant to run a pilot program in Turner’s Coonabarabran high school, introducing students to the world of journalism. More than 120 people from around Australia applied for the inaugural grants;read all about our winners here.
In March 2014 we announced the shortlist and honorable mentions for the inaugural Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism – read all about our stars here.
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