Five news startups in 60 minutes

October 3, 2009 | By | Category: Conference Track: Back End, ONA09 Highlights

David Cohn was a panelist on the 6 in 60 session. Photo by Nicole Fallek

David Cohn was a panelist on the 6 in 60 session. Photo by Nicole Fallek

By Noah Buhayar and Nicole Fallek
In the spirit of bringing the startup culture into the news world, five contestants presented their fresh and unique concepts to the audience and a panel of five judges in a real-life pitch-and-crit session. The winning company received a one-on-one consultation with venture capitalists that could help turn dreams into reality.

Sonny Mayugba’s hyperlocal news site, the Sacramento Press, was the winning contender by the judges’ vote. The audience, in contrast, chose Stroome, a concept for browser-based video editing and sharing.

The five competitors were chosen out of a pool of 20 that met the criteria. Projects had to be less then 18 months old and could have received no more than $20,000 in funding to date.

Each of the competitors was given five minutes to pitch an idea. The pitches included Suzanne Yada’s idea for organizing and distributing community calendar events to publications, Stefano Valentino’s idea for mobile crowd sourcing and Josh Wilson’s peer-to-peer news production model,

After the session, we put Mayugba to the test, asking him to give us his elevator pitch–in an elevator:

ElevatorPitch from Online News Association on Vimeo.

Noah Buhayar, an Oakland-based freelance reporter and multimedia producer, is a graduate student at UC Berkeley.

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