October  21, 2021
  New Media





News Entrepreneur

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News Entrepreneur REF#: JG31565
LION Publishers | Google News Initiative
Location: virtual, 0
Posted: October 4, 2021
Deadline: November 14, 2021


The GNI Startups Boot Camp Canada is an eight-week crash course on how to build and launch an independent local news business in Canada, led by LION Publishers in partnership with the Google News Initiative. 

The boot camp is free for participants, and in its debut year in 2020, the program helped 24 aspiring news entrepreneurs get their ambitious news business ideas off the ground. 

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the boot camp:

How much does the boot camp cost to attend?
  • Like the last boot camp, if you apply and get accepted into the boot camp, it will cost you nothing but your time.  
  • That’s right: all of the boot camp costs are covered. This includes the weekly seminars and one-on-one coaching, several tools to help you refine and test your idea, and access to our community of practice. 
  • Plus, upon successfully completing the bootcamp, you will receive a year-long “aspiring entrepreneurs” membership to LION Publishers.
What are the dates of the boot camp?
  • Classes will begin the week of January 17 and end the week of March 14, 2022.
What kinds of business ideas are eligible?
  • Efforts focused on delivering local news and civic information
  • Reporting-based businesses focused on encouraging civic engagement
  • Already-launched businesses focused on single-subject reporting that is not geographically bound
  • We are platform agnostic. That means you could plan to deliver your product through a podcast, newsletter, event series, app, messaging, videos, a website or anything else. 
Also, we will not be accepting participants from businesses that want to serve journalists/journalism as their primary customers or legacy publications that are trying to make a transition to digital. We are also not looking for applications that are primarily aggregation of existing content.

Do I need to have any prior experience in launching a business or entrepreneurship?
  • Absolutely not. The most important thing we are looking for is that you’ve identified a customer/audience need and you have a very strong hypothesis on how to meet that need.
Where will the boot camp be held?
  • The boot camp is entirely online. It’s intentionally designed to be an online experience because we want you to stay in your community and to do the work in that context.
How many people are you selecting to participate?
  • We’ll be selecting 16 teams of one or two founders.
How many hours per week will I need to invest?
  • We like to answer that by saying “at least part-time hours; ideally a full-time commitment.” We expect participants to plan for at least eight hours a week, preferably a lot more.
If you’ve already launched a project that’s less than 12 months in and aren’t sure what to do next, the boot camp should complement what you’re already doing.

If you’re in an existing full-time position and thinking about the boot camp to grow your side hustle into your main hustle, that’s great! You’ll want to think about how to fit the minimum number of hours into your schedule. (And, if the weekly webinar happens during your paying job working hours, you’ll need to make time to watch the recorded version.)

Ideally, you and your partner will be on the calls together. At least one of you is responsible for attending, or watching the recap. You can also switch off weeks if that’s easier.

Typically each week will consist of 90 minutes of seminar time, two or more hours of assignments, and two or more hours of readings. The more time you put into the assignments, the more you will typically get out of the boot camp experience.

What must I do to complete the program?
  • Attend or watch the weekly lesson each week (if you have a team member, you may switch off and all sessions are recorded)
  • Complete at least four out of eight one-on-one coaching sessions
  • Submit a weekly status updates and short survey
  • Demonstrate effort at completing the weekly assignments
  • Submit a final video pitch for your project


You are eligible to apply for the Boot Camp if:
  • You are based in, and plan to launch in, one of Canada’s ten provinces or three territories. If you decide to apply to a future part of this program that includes financial support, you will need to be authorized to work in your country of residence.
  • You are comfortable with written and spoken English, as all sessions and assignments will be in English only for this pilot.
  • You plan to apply as an individual or as a team. If you already have a team, up to two of you can participate in the boot camp sessions and coaching. (Sidenote: If you do have a team, a good goal is to have one person for each of these core expertise areas: editorial, business and/or marketing, product and/or technology.)
  • You have some journalism experience or a business background or you are deeply embedded in the community you want to serve.

Interested candidates should apply online with resume and cover note, stating you found this job on Jeff Gaulin's Journalism Job Board, via:

Web address: http://www.gnistartupsbootcamp.ca/
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