Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange Program for Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware

Applications are now open for the Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange, an accelerator program, designed in partnership with community members, to support the region’s BIPOC media entrepreneurs through training, one-on-one coaching, and grantmaking.

Donor Name: Lenfest Institute for Journalism

States: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware

Counties: Bucks County (PA), Chester County (PA), Delaware County (PA), Montgomery County (PA), Philadelphia County/city (PA), Burlington County (NJ), Camden County (NJ), Gloucester County (NJ), New Castle County (DE)

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline (mm/dd/yyyy): 01/18/2022

Size of the Grant: $10,000


They are focused on media makers serving the greater Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. And, New Castle County, Delaware), especially entrepreneurs that are from and/or serve unserved or underserved BIPOC communities.

As a participant in this program, you will receive funding, educational training and coaching, and the opportunity to apply for the additional follow-on funding.

Funding Information

The Entrepreneur Cohort is 8 – 10 media makers. Each organization will receive $10,000 ($5,000 upon acceptance and $5,000 upon completion of the program). While you are in the program, a pot of additional funding ($80,000 as of now) will be allocated to projects from Cohort participants. Cohort participants will provide input into how that funding is allocated.

What can I use this funding for?

Funding can be used to maintain, sustain, and grow operating budgets by:

  • Stabilizing existing projects
  • Building operational capacity
  • Paying fixed expenses
  • Increasing salaries to reflect an equitable living wage
  • Hire and retain talent
  • Invest in education and skills development
  • Invest in developing and testing new ideas
  • Scale production of new products and services
  • Broaden audiences

Program Eligibility & Criteria

These criteria are guidelines to identify who the program will best serve. If you do not meet the criteria exactly (revenue, etc.), they still encourage you to apply.

  • You are at least 18 years of age.
  • You are located in the Philadelphia region (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. And, New Castle County, Delaware).
  • You are able to participate in virtual programming and have access to the internet.
  • You identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color.
  • You are a media entrepreneur. You are a media maker who has an existing business that has:
    • Existed for at least one year;
    • Demonstrated traction (customers, revenue, other community indicator);
    • Earned less than $1M in annual revenue per year; and
    • A desire to grow and/or deepen your commitment to serving your local community.
  • You are a media intrapreneur. You are a media maker who may have launched an initiative inside of a news enterprise and wish to scale an independent initiative. You:
  • Can successfully demonstrate you have started an initiative (a product or service) inside of a news enterprise; and
    • Wish to launch and scale an initiative of your own outside of the news enterprise and you have a documented plan and prototype to develop it.

Founder Profile

  • You are deeply connected to and knowledgeable about the community you serve.
  • You are interested in and passionate about growing your business.
  • You are excited to connect and work in community with your peers in the ecosystem.
  • You value collaboration, sharing knowledge, experimentation, sharing wins and lessons, and bringing ideas and solutions to the table.

For more information, visit Philadelphia Media Founders Exchange.