Sydney startup hub Fishburners has chosen 10 ideas for the inaugural Google News Initiative (GNI) startups bootcamp
The nine-week professional development program delivers support and coaching to aspiring news media entrepreneurs for independent journalism, with entrepreneurs including Sinorbis CMO Vijay Solanki, BindiMaps cofounder Tony Burrett, and Stem Media cofounder Emily Dawson providing one-on-one coaching.
It’s the first time the program is being held in Australia and New Zealand since launching globally in 2020 amid Google’s fight with the Australian government over paying the media for news under the News Media Bargaining Code. As debate raged over the policy, Google claimed at the time that YouTube would be wiped out, and threatened to turn off its search capacity.
While the legislation was passed in 2021, forcing both Meta and Google to the negotiating table, the tech giants have struck deals with larger media players while ghosting smaller, independent media organisations.
The 10 ventures chosen for the GNI program receive a complimentary one-year pro membership to Fishburners Founders Hub, which offers access to startup perks and discounts worth up to $200,000, as well as community connections, tools, resources, mentoring, events, and investor connections. Founders also gain access to a curriculum based on the GNI Startups Playbook.
Fishburners interim CEO Alan Jones said the applicants were chosen because they best reflected diverse voices targeting under-served communities.
“We’re excited to be part of the startup journey for these aspiring news entrepreneurs who hail from such a diverse range of backgrounds, and have such unique, inspirational, and important stories to tell,” he said.
“The Australian news media landscape in particular can really benefit from this greater diversity of voices and perspectives. By the end of the boot camp, these participants will have a better understanding of their commercialisation model and who their audience is, as well as more grounded expectations of the industry.
“GNI alumni from other parts of the world have been changing the narrative, gaining recognition, and rebuilding trust within their communities. Our AUNZ cohort is in good company and we can’t wait to see them take their ideas to the next level.”
The chosen startups for the ANZ GNI program are:
- Ms Migrant: A media company dedicated to ambitious young migrant women to inspire them to choose a high potential and impactful career in business.
- The Anchor: A short-form animated news channel that delivers bite-sized news parcels across multiple social media platforms, with a comedic twist.
- Nak-ed: Emerging website dedicated to news across the sexual wellness and sextech space in New Zealand.
- The Defrag: A platform that explores the intersection of technology, business, politics, and science.
- On The Up: A digital news and community information service for the Upper Central Coast.
- NF.Writest: An online magazine for women of colour, incorporating high-impact photography and beautiful visual design.
- Sikh Media Project: A media startup exploring issues affecting Australia’s Sikh community, targeting people from Sikh and non-Sikh backgrounds.
- Zero To Done: A platform transitioning millennial Web2 founders to Web3 through short form educational content.
- AgTech Talks: A tech-focused resource for agriculture to help improve baseline and product knowledge.
- Talking Twenties: A platform that will put various issues women in their twenties go through under the microscope.