We Media PitchIt! Challenge: How can we use media to inspire a better world?

WHAT'S THE CHALLENGE? Are you a storyteller? An influencer? A connector? An idea person?

We Media and Ashoka Changemakers are looking for the most innovative ideas inspiring a better world through media. Be part of the 2010 We Media PitchIt! Challenge.

Winners announced. The finalists each made a formal presentation to a panel of expert judges who selected the winners. The winners each  received a $25,000 prize to help launch their new venture. We Media and Ashoka Changemakers are pleased to announce AssignIt as the winner of the "non-profit" category and Audimated as the winner of the "for-profit" category.

Winners each receive $25,000 in seed funding: The judges will select one business and one non-profit entry. Each winner will receive $25,000 in seed funding.

Dear Changemakers Community,

What happens when people have the power to tell their story?

We Media and Ashoka Changemakers have teamed up once again to find and launch the best new ideas for inspiring a better world through media. In the We Media PitchIt! Challenge, we’re looking for groundbreaking solutions from all fields that incite action, encourage collaboration, and lead society to knowledge.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, we will provide $50,000 in seed funding to help launch the best solutions. One business and one non-profit venture will each receive $25,000 in seed capital.

Entrants will have the freedom to collaborate with potential partners and investors, while the global online community will discuss, debate and improve upon the most creative solutions.

All finalists will participate in the sixth annual We Media Event in Miami, March 9-11, 2010, and present their ideas to a panel of judges as well as potential funders and partners.

A. Eligibility Criteria

The competition will be open to individuals from all countries. We consider the following criteria:

  • Media Focus: Ideas should reflect the theme of the competition. We are searching for innovative ideas that use media to create social change.
  • Idea Stage: We’re looking for early-stage ventures or brand new ideas that have not yet been launched or built. These may be entirely new ventures, new companies or new projects from existing organizations.
  • Business or Non-Profit: There will be two categories: business and non-profit. In the business category, the funding must be used to support the start-up of a new business that will have a sustainable revenue model. In the non-profit category, the funding should be used to support the launch of a non-profit venture or the development of a new project for an existing non-profit organization.
  • Completed Form: Entries must be fully completed and submitted before the deadline of January 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm EST.
  • Language: Entries should be submitted in English.

B. Assessment Criteria

There will be several stages to this process:

1) The community's comments will be included in the evaluation process.

2) The finalists will be selected by a combination of We Media and expert judges. Finalists will be announced on February 3, 2010.

3) Each finalist will attend We Media Miami March 9-11, 2010 and make a formal presentation to attendees and a panel of expert judges. There will be separate expert panels for business and non-profit ideas.

4) We Media PitchIt! Challenge finalists will each receive the following travel assistance for attending We Media Miami 2010:

  • Up to $300 toward a coach airline ticket
  • 2 nights lodging in Miami
  • Registration for the entire We Media Event
  • A display location in the gallery

5) Winners each receive $25,000 in seed funding: The judges will select one business and one non-profit entry. Each winner will receive $25,000 in seed funding.

Judges will consider the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Is the idea innovative? This is the knock-out test. The idea should represent a disruptive innovation that changes the way media works. The innovation should demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field and have the potential for large-scale expansion. We look for innovative business practices, entrepreneurial quality and a plausible sustainable model.
  • Story Telling: Does this idea tell a story in a new or innovative way – or enable others to tell their stories? Does it create and apply a unique storytelling experience through journalism, discovery, narrative, exposition, or new methods and metaphors? We are looking for ideas that change the way we experience or understand storytelling. In this context, we define storytelling broadly.
  • Social Impact: Does the idea affect social conditions, stimulate citizenship, raise awareness, influence public policy, or marshal support for an idea of broad social significance? Does this idea present a solution for increasing access, knowledge or connection for all? The idea may address a specific underserved community or the society at large, but ultimately it is important that the innovation has a potential for application or replication globally. It is also important that the idea does not have a negative environmental impact.
  • Sustainability: Will the innovator be able to launch and sustain this idea? For an innovation to be truly effective, it should have a plan for securing financial backing and community support. We are looking for social entrepreneurs with ideas that are financially sustainable and scalable. We will also consider the experience and capacity of the innovator (or team), who will be expected to launch the idea.
  • Design: Does the idea creatively engage multiple levels of intelligence and understanding of complex information with clarity, style, and meaning?
  • Pattern Change: Does the idea pioneer original approaches and paradigms?
  • Purpose: Does the idea express a purposeful vision through values reflecting ethics, credibility, responsibility and authenticity?
  • Community: Does the idea seek to organize a community, virtual or geographic, in a new way?


Total value:
50 000
Winners each receive $25,000 in seed funding: The judges will select one business and one non-profit entry. Each winner will receive $25,000 in seed funding.