PRX’s Public Media Accelerator renamed Matter Ventures, relaunched with partner KQED

By Dru Sefton

KQED in San Francisco, Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the Knight Foundation today announced a $2.5 million media entrepreneur initiative, Matter Ventures. Project spokesman Jason Gordon confirmed to Current that Matter Ventures is the new name for the Public Media Accelerator (PMX), announced earlier this year (Current, March 12).

“Matter captures the mission of this accelerator in a more powerful way than PMX,” Gordon said. “The accelerator aims to create new media ventures that do in fact matter and that can create a positive, meaningful impact on society.”

The four-month accelerator program is designed to assist media start-ups with early-stage prototypes such as participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services and content production engines.

“Matter will invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model,” the announcement said.

Selected start-ups receive $50,000 and will all work in a creative space in the South Park area of San Francisco’s SoMa district. The program begins with an intensive design thinking and entrepreneurship boot camp followed by design reviews, mentoring sessions and workshops. At the end of four months, teams will pitch to the Matter community and potential investors.

“The accelerator model will foster entrepreneurial innovation that will revolutionize how organizations like KQED create and distribute content, raise funds, and help our audiences make better sense of a rapidly changing world,” said John Boland, KQED president, in the announcement. “Fresh ideas will help ensure that we remain a distinctive, relevant and essential service in the 21st century.”

Applications for the first round of grants are due by Jan. 6, 2013.

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