What is BetaKit doing?
BetaKit is launching a membership channel on Patreon to garner financial support and allow us to continue our mission of in-depth reporting on Canadian tech and innovation. Regular support from our readers will grow BetaKit’s capabilities and expand our coverage of the Canadian startup ecosystem.
What is Patreon?
Patreon is an online platform that provides the business tools for independent creators to run a subscription-based membership service. Launching a Patreon provides BetaKit with the benefits of other news subscription services without the need to paywall our content from readers.
How does it work?
‘Patrons’ pledge support on a monthly or annual basis, allowing us to reach specific fundraising goals to grow BetaKit’s editorial capabilities. In return, BetaKit Patrons gain access to exclusive rewards and perks based upon their level of support.
What goals does BetaKit want to achieve?
Our goals are solely focused on improving and expanding BetaKit’s editorial capabilities. They include better wages for staff, new talent to increase the quality and quantity of our reporting, and new editorial products to improve the breadth and scope of our coverage. You can see them listed here.
What rewards are offered to BetaKit supporters?
BetaKit’s Patreon rewards come in two categories: rewards for individual supporters and rewards for supporting innovation organizations. Rewards for readers include early-access to specific types of content and some beautiful swag targeted to supporters of Canadian tech. Rewards for innovation orgs are targeted towards providing direct support for startups in their network, through media office hours or 101 presentations. You can see them listed here.
Organizational rewards can be used at a Patron’s discretion in consultation with BetaKit. For example, organizations at the Canadian Innovation Leader tier can choose to alternate between media presentations or office hours each month, or take advantage of that time in addition to the startups in their network.
How do media office hours work?
Media office hours provide a structured time each month for Canadian startups to discuss story opportunities, potential coverage, and other items of note with a BetaKit editor. Startups can come to office hours with a prepared agenda, or simply a desire to chat with BetaKit.
Conversations may shift to background information or off-the-record upon mutual consent. Booking media office hours time in no way guarantees coverage, favourable or otherwise, in BetaKit.
What’s contained in the media 101 presentation?
In this one-hour presentation, BetaKit Editor in Chief Douglas Soltys provides startups with a framework to approach media relations, including tangible action items to ensure each company is prepared to engage media (and not mess it up!). A Q&A with participants follows each presentation.
Presentations can be customized to a Patron’s needs in consultation with BetaKit.
How do I get my sticker or t-shirt?
Following your commitment, a member of the BetaKit team will contact you through Patreon to confirm your shipping address. BetaKit will also share a tracking link for the delivery of your reward as required by support tier.
Please note that some rewards require a minimum monthly commitment prior to shipping. Patrons who choose the annual payment option will have their reward sent once the shipping address is confirmed.
Is supporting BetaKit a conflict of interest?
As an independent media publication, BetaKit takes its journalistic integrity very seriously. With the launch of our Patreon, we want to be 100% clear: support of BetaKit in no way guarantees coverage in our publication, positive or otherwise.
Individual readers who decide to become BetaKit Patrons should see their support no differently than choosing to purchase a monthly subscription to other news publications (with the added benefits of directly supporting BetaKit’s editorial resources, keeping the publication free of paywalls for all readers, and some nifty swag).
Innovation organizations that become Patrons will often fall within BetaKit’s editorial mandate; this will not change our reporting approach. We will cover organizations that support BetaKit the same way we cover organizations that don’t, and we will continue our coverage if they choose to no longer support BetaKit.
To be as transparent as possible, BetaKit will also take additional steps to publicly disclose all organizations that provide support via Patreon so our readers never have to wonder.
BetaKit has thought carefully about the best approach to ask for and receive support from innovation organizations across Canada. We believe that offering best-practice guidance to startups on how to engage with media will not only improve our coverage but the overall development of the Canadian tech ecosystem at the grassroots level.
We also believe that a publicly-disclosed relationship with these innovation organizations, allowing for no considerations of coverage (positive or otherwise), is preferable to financing BetaKit’s growth through means that might strain the publication’s editorial independence, such as equity investments from those same organizations.