Jessica Lessin’s The Information has found success with a focus on cultivating a dedicated, narrow audience willing to pay a premium for quality content, and now it wants to help other young media companies build similar, sustainable subscription-based news organizations.
The Information Accelerator begins accepting applications for its first batch of companies today, and the goal will be to help the selected entrants build businesses based on quality journalism that end up being able to actually make money.
To help these fledgling would-be Informations along, The Information Accelerator program will provide expertise, distribution and capital, including a Boot Camp with the team in San Francisco to cover topics ranging from what drives people to subscribe, to what you should look for in choosing and customizing a CMS. The Information has a goal of setting up companies to depart the program with “meaningful revenue” already on the books, which they define as around $100,000 in annual recurring inbound funds, with growth projected.
The Information Accelerator will put at least $25,000 into the companies that go through the program, in exchange for “some very small” equity participation. The program is specifically seeking “star reporters” and small teams of journalists with targeted focus, both inside and outside the U.S., as well as entrepreneurs with reporting expertise.
Lessin says in the call for applicants that The Information’s motivation here is to help redirect the path of the news business to focus on quality journalism, and away from business models driven by advertiser priorities, rather than the value of the journalism itself. Applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org directly to get an application, and the program stops accepting potential participants on September 1, 2017.