Media technology is advancing and changing at an incredible speed. This is great news for publishing, but is also daunting when it comes to keeping up with each new media form. Today we struggle with even naming all of the social media platforms, let alone all the other media technologies. How are we supposed to know which ones work and which ones are worth trying? More troubling than that, how are those with that one great media idea supposed to get that idea out into the world in the first place?
Introducing Matter. Matter’s mission is to support media entrepreneurs who believe in building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Since 2012 Matter has invested $50k in each of its chosen media entrepreneur applicants. Matter chose seven start-up companies for each of the last two years. Matter Three, the third year of Matter investments, has just entered the final application round. If accepted, Matter guides the media start-ups through an intensive bootcamp program, “focused on building scalable media ventures with a human-centered, prototype-driven process followed by a weekly speaker series, Friday share-outs, and monthly design reviews building up to a demo day in San Francisco and a media showcase in NYC.” Not only does Matter provide the guidance that the start-ups need, but it also allows them to develop the ventures alongside other media partners and to test out the products with a large audience.
In order to apply to the Matter program, a start-up company must be an existing team of two to four co-founders with skill sets covering technology, business, design, and storytelling. The teams must be pursuing a sustainable, scalable, for-profit business strategy and have built an early stage prototype of their product or service. If chosen, teams get the chance to work full-time at the Matter space in San Francisco for five months to develop the new media product or service.
Here are just a few of the great companies that came out of Matter One and Matter Two:
- Zeega, a revolutionizing interactive storytelling for a future beyond blogs, enabling anyone to express themselves by easily combining media from the cloud.
- SpokenLayer unmutes the written web. The company partners with publishers to turn articles into audio read by real people.
- Contextly enables publications of all sizes to be both informative and viable in the age of drive-by readers by marrying editorial wisdom to the power of algorithms.
- Woopie (Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere) empowers writers and publishers to easily reach their audiences on all devices and platforms through a digital content publishing tool focused on responsive design.
- Connu helps emerging writers find, connect with, and monetize audiences through publishing the best new short stories.
- Beatroot provides impact measurement to journalists, empowering them to be more relevant to their audiences, more impactful with their stories, and more in charge of their careers.
When it comes to media, Matter is a company to look toward for new media technology. How will companies like Matter impact the book and magazine publishing industries? If anything, Matter will influence how ideas are formed and brought to life.
Read more about Matter here at FOLIO.