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Bringing Silicon Valley's Accelerator Model to the Media Sector Q&A with Corey Ford, the managing partner of an accelerator that urges startups to rethink journalism.

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Savvy 'treps know that where there's change, there's opportunity. And perhaps no segment of American business life has been exposed to more change than traditional media outlets. That's where Matter Ventures, a San Francisco-based VC firm, sees promise. Through partnerships with nonprofit groups, the company looks to incubate new entrepreneurial ideas in journalism, social media and other forms of public-space communication.

Funded by a $2.5 million investment from the Knight Foundation and public-radio affiliate KQED, Matter Ventures invests $50,000 in seed money to media startups in exchange for 4 to 7 percent of equity. The idea is to bring Silicon Valley's accelerator model to the media sector, while providing a crash course in real-world entrepreneurship to potential innovators who may never have seen a business plan.

The first class of six participants--which included Zeega (a platform for creating and sharing interactive videos) and SpokenLayer ("bringing human voice to the best of the written web")--finished its five-month acceleration program in July; the next session started in October.

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