The way we learn about the world is transforming.
The next wave of internet platforms is coming into view. Four years from now, over half of us will have an intelligent assistant in our home, and over half of all internet searches will be voice-activated. Blockchain technology has brought decentralization into the mainstream, making new kinds of media businesses possible. Meanwhile, the pendulum is swinging away from targeted advertising to revenue models that respect user privacy, and from a hands-off approach to innovation to regulations that outlaw surveillance.
This wave of change comes at a time when media is more important than ever before. The decline in media has led to a global democratic recession. Representation of people of color in newsrooms has stalled. Just 16% of Americans say they trust what they read in the news, while our society becomes more divided than ever.
Each new wave presents new opportunities. These changes will bring about shifts in consumer behavior, and open up new kinds of markets. While social networks and mobile apps all contain entrenched incumbents, apps for intelligent assistants, all-in-one VR headsets, or decentralized infrastructure do not. There’s everything to play for — and there’s also the opportunity for these ventures to help create a more informed, inclusive, and empathetic society in the process.
We believe the seeds of the next great media institutions will be planted by entrepreneurs who harness waves of technological change to build human-centered ventures that speak truth to power, close the empathy gap, and take a radically inclusive approach to amplifying the voices of all people.
Entrepreneurs like you.
It’s your turn to Matter.
This year, we’re looking for interdisciplinary teams building scalable, for-profit ventures that change the way we tell stories, learn about the world, and empathize with other peoples’ lived experiences.
At Matter, we provide immersive mentorship, space, and a $50K cash investment to help you build a scalable media venture through a human-centered, prototype-driven process rooted in design thinking. Over our 5-month, in-person program, we help you perform rapid experiments to get feedback and iterate quickly, aided by our community of hundreds of mentors, our alumni, media executives and investors. And after those 20 weeks — once you’ve taken part in demo days in both San Francisco and New York — we will continue to be the wind at your back, helping you to fundraise and continue to build your venture.
Our partners are companies like KQED, McClatchy, the Associated Press, the Knight Foundation, the New York Times, and Google News Lab. Our alumni are some of the most dedicated entrepreneurs in media: companies like Hearken, NewsDeeply and SpokenLayer. They’ve been there, done that, and are ready to pay it forward.
Applications are open.
Starting today, applications to Matter are always open. Although our accelerator program runs at fixed points during the year, we think it’s important that you are able to apply when it makes sense for you. That said, you’ll have a much better chance of being a part of Matter Nine if you apply by April 30.
It’s easy to get started. Just fill in this form, taking care to include a link to a deck. Then, if we like what we see, we’ll invite you to pitch your venture to us. After that, the next stage is a design thinking project that gives you a taste of what the Matter program is like.
It’s a competitive process, with an acceptance rate of around 2%. Our next twelve startups will walk through the garage door on August 13: six based in San Francisco, and six based in New York City. Each will join a vibrant community of inspiring individuals working as part of some of the important teams in media. You can be one of them.
We’re excited to meet you. Let’s change media for good, together.
Matter is an SF & NYC-based startup accelerator and venture capital firm grounded in the principles of design thinking that supports early-stage media entrepreneurs and mission-aligned media institutions building scalable ventures that make society more informed, inclusive, and empathetic.
Our mission has never been more important than it is today. We are looking for scrappy entrepreneurs inspired to make real change. Our next cohort starts on August 13th, 2018. Apply now.