Facebook’s Digital News Innovation Challenge awards $100,000 to 5 startups

The Facebook Journalism Project, in partnership with the DMZ and the Ryerson School of Journalism, has announced the results of the Digital News Innovation Challenge.

Launched in November 2017, the Challenge selected five startups for a five-month accelerator program at DMZ Sandbox, a talent and early-stage startup incubation space. On October 4, the five startups — The GIST, Readefined, The Sprawl, Trebble, and Ground — pitched their businesses to a judging panel of innovation experts. The goal of the challenge was for each startup to receive an additional $40,000, or a portion of it.

All five startups ended up receiving $100,000 each in seed capital, as well as $50,000 in Facebook marketing budget from the Digital News Innovation Challenge.

“By working with Facebook Journalism Project and the Ryerson School of Journalism, we’ve been able to support high-potential, high-impact entrepreneurs develop solutions that are having a positive social or economic impact in the digital news space,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director at the DMZ. “The program has been a game changer, eliminating barriers to drive innovation in Canadian journalism and support startups in solving some of the toughest issues in current media business models.”

“Supporting ideas that drive innovation for journalism is critical to building a sustainable news ecosystem and a more informed community. This is why we partnered with the DMZ and Ryerson School of Journalism to create the Digital News Innovation Challenge and invest in promising Canadian news startups. Whether they developed new business models to reach readers or built tools to improve news organizations’ abilities to deliver news to the right audience, the five startups in the program have all brought forth new ideas to help shape the digital media sector in Canada,” said Kevin Chan, head of public policy at Facebook Canada.

“We thank all the founders for their passion and hard work and wish them all the best as they continue to build their startups.”