South Africa Media Innovation Program – Innovation Challenge 2017

South Africa Media Innovation Program – Innovation Challenge 2017

Deadline: October 31, 2017

The South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) is a new 3-year media initiative that seeks to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets. SAMIP will provide capacity building and financing to independent media in South Africa. The aim of the program is to promote innovation within the media sector, and also foster new voices.

The South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) is a new $4 million, 3-year media initiative to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets and encourage new entrants. The program will provide funding and capacity building to organisations selected to participate.

SAMIP is looking for mission-driven companies and organizations who are passionate about trying new approaches to local news and information. Winners will be awarded up to R500,000 for their projects. In addition, winners will be admitted to SAMIP and benefit from a variety of capacity building activities, including mentorship and training.

Focus Areas

Projects should address one or more of the following focus areas:

  1. Digital Native Products
  2. Reaching rural communities
  3. Engaging people in official languages that are underserved
  4. Technology innovation for distribution
  5. New Revenue opportunities
  6. Transition to digital

Benefits

Up to six successful entrants will receive

  • a cash prize of up to ZAR 500,000
  • strategic advice and
  • mentoring by a digital media expert to help them develop a viable business around their product or platform
  • Cash Prize: Up to ZAR 500,000 (*depending on budgets, they will consider smaller projects that apply)

In addition, winners will be admitted to SAMIP and benefit from capacity building:

  • on-going strategic advice, (expert advice)
  • tailored one-to-one consulting, (mentorship)
  • targeted group training designed to help participants’ financial viability and audience reach (training)
  • further funding, if approved by Advisory Panel, based on favourable initial results

Eligibility

  • This challenge is open to all existing companies, non-profits, and new ventures in South Africa.
  • The SAMIP Innovation Challenge targets South African projects and organizations that are building news and information products that engage inform local/underserved communities by:
    • searching for new ways to connect people with information
    • exploring new business models, distribution mechanisms and/or revenue generation opportunities
    • creating platforms within existing news outlets for citizen reporting through mobile technology
  • You could be an existing independent media company, a non-profit, or a new venture that is just kicking off.
  • They are looking for mission-driven companies and organizations passionate about trying new approaches to local news and information.
  • They encourage applicants who don’t have traditional journalism and media backgrounds, particularly from the areas of technology, design and business.

Selection Criteria

  • New projects just getting off the ground, for which the applicant has initial evidence of a user need.
  • Specific and actionable ideas for a novel product or service – product or working demo doesn’t necessarily have to be built yet – funding can be used for MVP. (Capability requirement)
  • Products or services that have shown initial success/viability, and applicants that are looking to scale up.

In addition to the above, a company or an organization must also meet the following criteria:

  • Committed to providing credible, independent news, information or public debate.
  • Independent from the government or of any other political or economic interest group.
  • Supportive of democratic practices and institutions, political pluralism, transparency, human rights, including the rights of women and minorities.
  • In regular operation for at least one year. A record of quality journalism and reporting. In compelling circumstances this requirement may be waived.
  • Committed to developing a path to financial sustainability.
  • Prepared to commit sufficient time to work with coaches/mentors and carry out assigned tasks.

For more info on the detailed MDIF eligibility criteria, please click here.

Application

  • Complete the online application
  • They will narrow down applicants to a set of finalists for phone or in-person interviews during late October, before making their selections in November.

The winners will be announced at the end of November 2017.

For more information, visit SAMIP Innovation Challenge.

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