Facebook Journalism Project is setting up shop north of the border.
Canadian journalism startups and entrepreneurs can apply beginning Jan. 28, 2018, for the chance to become one of five winners that will receive five months of incubation at Sandbox, The DMZ’s skills-development place, where they will receive “tailored support” from growth mentors, attend exclusive workshops designed by the country’s leading digital news experts and have access to a dedicated workspace in downtown Toronto, where they will be able to work with investors, journalists, experts and researchers.
The five finalists will each receive $100,000 in non-dilutive seed capital and $50,000 in Facebook marketing budget, which will be broken up in increments, leading up to a demo day at the end of the program, where the companies will be presented to a panel of judges, mentors and industry leaders.
Facebook Canada head of public policy Kevin Chan said in a release introducing the Digital News Innovation Challenge: “Quality journalism delivers facts and ideas that help us better understand society and each other. The Facebook community values sharing and discussing ideas and news, which is why it is critical for us to partner with leading organizations like The DMZ and Ryerson School of Journalism to support the Canadian news ecosystem and help these startups succeed.”
The DMZ executive director Abdullah Snobar added, “Canada is a key market where innovators, influencers and investors are shaping the digital media sector on a global scale. Our goal with this Canada-wide program will be to support and stimulate innovation in journalism, while developing a more sustainable news ecosystem through ongoing collaboration between the tech and news sectors.”
And the Ryerson School of Journalism at FCAD chair Janice Neil said, “There has never been a more important time for innovation in journalism, to experiment with technologies and economic models. We are excited to act as mentors and bring both leading alumni and industry partners to support this project.”