Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Digital News Frontier
Meet the Experts
IWMF’s "Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Digital News Frontier" have access to a network of diverse experts as part of a year-long curriculum designed to compliment $20,000 grants to launch their new media enterprises. Each month, grantees participate in a conference call with a featured expert on a topic relevant to their entrepreneurial development, including lessons learned from veteran entrepreneurs, user engagement strategies and revenue streams.
Ali founded paidContent and parent company ContentNext, a media company covering the business of digital media, entertainment and information industries. In 2008, he sold ContentNext Media to UK-based Guardian News & Media. He left the company in 2010, and is currently on sabbatical, traveling and working on his next venture.
Founder and Director, Spot.Us
Cohn runs Spot.Us, a nonprofit project pioneering community-funded reporting. Cohn previously worked as the editor of newassignment.net, focusing on citizen journalism and ways news organizations could explore the social web. He also worked with Jeff Jarvis to organize the first Networked Journalism Summits, bringing together best practices of collaborative journalism.
Founder and CEO of Magnet Media
Cunningham runs Magnet Media, an award-winning digital production studio and marketing services firm. She regularly speaks on trends impacting the media industry.
Cunningham began her career in production for PBS, HBO, Nickelodeon, and MTV. In 1997, she moved to Virtual Media where she worked on several TV and film projects. While at VM she helped lead the company's growth from 2 to 40 people. In 2000, she left Virtual Media as the Director of Biz Dev to start Magnet Media.
Cunningham is best known for crafting innovative business models, and producing digital media content. She has consulted on dozens of tech and entertainment projects and has led seminars, workshops and panels at The Wharton School of Business' Entrepreneurs Conference, The Producer's Institute, the Independent Feature Market, and NAB.
Executive Director, The Community Reporting Alliance
Gref is a journalist with more than 25 years experience. Recently, she and a funding partner founded a nonprofit which is all about preserving local news. Before that, she left her position as a senior editor and reporter for a daily newspaper to buy a community print and online newspaper, run it with sweat, sacrifice and loans, and then sell it at a profit. She is also a community college instructor of journalism and mentor to the online student news.
Director, Intel Capital
Herron is a director at Intel Capital and a Venture Advisor at 500 Startups. She previously worked as a principal at First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, and as a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed media practice strategy. Herron is also on the IWMF’s Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Digital News Frontier advisory committee.
Intellectual Property Lawyer, Web Application Developer
Koeth is an intellectual property lawyer and Web application developer who has been involved in both law and technology for more than 15 years. As a developer she has worked in academia, private industry and most recently as a Fellow at San Francisco-based nonprofit, Code for America. As a lawyer, Koeth worked for nearly 3 years as an intellectual property associate for a Washington D.C.-based law firm.
Jennifer 8 Lee
Lee, a New York Times reporter turned entrepreneur, in 2012 cofounded a literary studio called Plympton, which focuses on publishing serialized fiction for digital devices. She is also involved in the startup Upworthy, which spreads viral content that matters, a lead organizer of Hacks/Hackers, and helped launch Sparkcamp. Lee has played a lead role in the Knight News Challenge.
Vice President of Journalism and Media Innovation, Knight Foundation
Maness joined Knight Foundation in 2011, leading the Foundation’s Journalism and Media Innovation program. Previously, he was Gannett’s vice president of innovation and design, where he launched multiple new brands, and vice president of strategic planning for Gannett’s newspaper division. Maness was named one of the Newspaper Association of America’s “20 under 40.”
Staff Writer, Columbia Journalism Review
Meyer runs the News Frontier Database, CJR.org's project chronicling digital news outlets. He has profiled 170 sites, both local and national, as part of this initiative, and shared advice for taking business seriously in online news in a recent Street Fight article.
CEO & Founder of The Muse
The Muse is a career platform and job discovery tool serving more than 3 million professionals worldwide. Minshew has spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on CNN and Fox, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship topics to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. She was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media for the second year in a row and Inc.’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. Before founding The Muse, Minshew worked on vaccine introduction in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and previously at the management consultancy McKinsey & Company. Follow her on Twitter: @KMin
Founder, Panlocal LLC/Pegasus News/The Daily You
Orren founded Pegasus News in 2005. In 2009 he was named one of NBC’s 25 Most Interesting People in Dallas Fort Worth for his “contributions to the way news is gathered and presented.” A self-described “new media windmill-tilter,” Orren is coaching IWMF’s Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Digital News Frontier grant winners Lissa Harris and Julia Reischel as they launch their project, NewsShed.
Founder, ClearHealthCosts, 2011 IWMF Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital News Frontier grantee
Pinder founded ClearHealthCosts after a 23-year career as an editor and reporter at The New York Times. She created her startup to bring transparency to the healthcare marketplace, and has received grants from the IWMF, CUNY’s Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, and J-Lab.
Corporate Lawyer, Richter Law Offices
After years of advising entrepreneurs, Richter started Richter Law Offices in 2002 in Santa Cruz, California. He provides entrepreneurs with corporate and transactional service, giving them the tools and backbone they need to close transactions that are durable, smart, fair and maximize value. Prior to starting his own corporate law practice, Richter practiced corporate law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., and Shearman & Sterling LLP.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Lean Startup pioneer
Eric Ries is the creator of the Lean Startup methodology and the author of the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU. In 2007, BusinessWeek named Ries one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech and in 2009, he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has worked as a consultant to a number of startups, companies, and venture capital firms. In 2010, he became an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.
Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, Boston University School of Management
Prior to entering academia, Russo was CEO of Data Instruments. At Boston University, he teaches courses related to entrepreneurship at the graduate and executive levels. Russo serves as advisor to a number of startups.
Senior Lecturer, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Roche is a writer, teacher and web publisher with 30 years of journalism experience. She has written for The Boston Globe and other publications, and her blog, Fiftyshift, appears on boston.com. Roche teaches several courses including one on entrepreneurial journalism.
General Partner, Fortify.vc
and Co-Founder, The Fort
Valdes is a General Partner at Fortify.vc, a seed and early stage technology fund investing in Mid-Atlantic, Silicon Valley and talent-rich developing technology markets. She co-founded The Fort, DC's First Tech Accelerator.
Founder and CEO, Capitol News Connection/NewsiT
Wittstock created NewsiT, a mobile social network for people to create and share news, in 2010 after winning the WeMedia PitchIt! Challenge. She is also the CEO of Capitol News Connection, which she founded in 2002. Wittstock became a social media entrepreneur following a 20 year career in TV, radio and print journalism.
User engagement strategist
Wu, a journalist and user engagement strategist, is a consultant to the Knight Foundation and has been a judge for the Knight News Challenge. She has directed community and social media outreach for the annual Online News Association conference. Wu is also an organizer of Hacks/Hackers.