Scripps supporting media-oriented startup through Brandery fellowship

Wed, March 26, 2014 by Carolyn Micheli

Eligible tech startup will receive additional stipend, mentoring and access to Scripps executives

For immediate release
Wed, March 26, 2014

CINCINNATI - Nationally ranked startup accelerator The Brandery is seeking media-oriented startup companies from around the country to apply for The E.W. Scripps Co. Fellowship.

The Scripps Fellowship is available to one of the 10 companies selected to participate in the four-month Brandery accelerator program. The Scripps Fellowship provides an additional stipend, access to Scripps executives, media industry expertise and additional pitch opportunities. The fellowship stipend is funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation.

“We are excited to include Scripps to work with one of our 2014 startups,” said Mike Bott, general manager for The Brandery. “Increased access to mentoring and industry expertise has proven successful for past companies.”

Entrepreneurship runs throughout the 135-year history of Scripps, which began in the 1880s with the creation of affordable, mass-market newspapers. In the 1930s it expanded into radio operations. Scripps bought some of the first FCC television licenses and in 1947 launched its first TV station, WEWS in Cleveland, and soon after WCPO in Cincinnati. In the 1980s Scripps built, bought and later sold cable systems, and then created the home, food and garden television phenomenon by developing HGTV and other cable channels in the 1990s. It spun off the channels into a successful public company, Scripps Networks Interactive, in 2008.

Today, Scripps is investing in the digital delivery of news and information and is looking to expand its digital news and advertising footprint across new technology platforms and new geographies. For example, in January, Scripps purchased Newsy, a five-year-old Columbia, Mo., digital video news service, for $35 million.

The Scripps Fellowship provides incremental support for one Brandery startup that is focused on developing a scalable technology business that solves a problem or provides innovation relevant to some aspect of the media business. Focus areas could include journalism, consumer data, over-the-top/smart TV technologies, content distribution or creation platforms, subscription model platforms, advertising platforms, and local commerce solutions.

“We want to engage with entrepreneurs who see the incredible opportunity technology presents for media,” said Adam Symson, chief digital officer for Scripps and a Foundation trustee. “Because of our interest in and commitment to digital innovation, we want to give startups that come to Cincinnati a strategic advantage as it relates to our industry.”

The entrepreneurs will participate in Class 5 of The Brandery, which provides $20,000 in seed money along with mentoring, design, operations and development assistance to turn new ideas into successful startup companies and prepare them for investment.

The Foundation’s financial support includes a $3,500 stipend for each of two founders of a company to cover their living expenses while they spend the summer in Cincinnati. During their time here they will develop their business and network with professionals from consumer-oriented ventures. The funds will supplement the Brandery’s $20,000.

Applicants for the Scripps Fellowship should be technology-based, early-stage startup companies or entrepreneurs with ideas focused on the media industry. The deadline for applications is May 1. See more at the Brandery website.

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