News entrepreneurs, including some who run well-known hyperlocal sites, were put through a demanding but fun programme last weekend as part of a scheme to find a handful of ‘hothouse’ candidates – and they’ve now been announced!
The Media and Digital Enterprise (Made) project held last weekend at the University of Central Lancashire brought a hand-picked group of 30 media entrepreneurs together for the intensive 48 hours of training and focus.
And the winners were……
· James Oldfield, Hand Pumped
· Alison Smith, Pesky People
· Stuart Goulden, One&Other
· Michael Niskin, Entrepreneur Quarterly
· Anthony Beswick & Scott Heslop, Fruit + http://www.creativemoose.com/
· Gemma Collins, 3VTV
As well as providing some coaching and mentoring around the community aspects of running an online enterprise, I was involved in the judging of the finalists which took place through final presentations and discussion with the other judges.
One of those, Arthur Porter of the soon-to-be-launched Business Journal summed up the quality of the applications.
“It was a very difficult decision due to the abundance of talent and excellent projects on show.
“The MADE UK Startup Weekend churned out an array of amazing journalistic entrepreneurs who somehow very quickly showed their enthusiasm for each other’s ideas and the problems they faced. They were looking for help and guidance from the coaches and their peers. None went home disappointed.”
The project’s director François Nel of UCLan’s school of Journalism, Media and Communications said: “We are very excited about what our MADE Hothouse winners will achieve and what we can learn from their journeys in entrepreneurship. What we want to establish is a network of lean media startups who can rely on us, and each other, for support and guidance.”
MADE will continue with further training events with a DJCAMP data journalism event being held on September 21-22. More details can be found at http://uclanmade.blogspot.com
* Note: One of the Pesky People projects run by winner Alison Smith is to campaign for publishers to subtitle their video clips to improve accessibility. Her demo to those attending the weekend – complete with the removal of the audio to make the point – was both powerful and persuasive. Here at Talk About Local, we will be adding subtitles to videos we include in the future.