New Ventures Lab #2

Chicas Poderosas New Venture Lab #2

The New Ventures Lab (NVL) is the first of its kind accelerator to support early-stage, women-led companies focused on independent digital media.

Our first accelerator took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil and now we are back again for a second round.

The NVL is an opportunity for you to lead and launch your own independent media company.  It can be for profit or not for profit, but it must be led by women. During the accelerator we’ll provide you with a mini MBA, mentorship specifically chosen to address your company’s specific needs and a plan to support the launch of your entrepreneurial venture.

The NVL is an intensive 20-week accelerator. We’re looking for the next cohort to join us in January of 2019 in Sao Paulo. If you’re a start-up in independent media led by women- apply before November 20, 2018.

A 2- Step Process

Step 1  

Design Thinking Sprint

We encourage all teams interested in applying to the accelerator to participate in at least one of the design sprints. While it’s not a requirement, we strongly urge you to join us and learn how we apply human centered design to innovation in media.

What are Design Sprints ?

The design sprints are an opportunity for you to learn about us and for us to learn about you.  

The methodology we employ throughout the accelerator is based in human centered design – a process that has been used by Fortune 100 companies, prominent non-profit organizations, leading media organizations, and governments around the world to address some of their most challenging problems. Many of the most creative and innovative products and services in the world have been developed by using a human-centered way of thinking.

The design sprints are your introduction, working hands-on, to learn about applying human centered design to a project or start-up.  It’s also a time to learn about us, our expectations on the teams during the 20-week accelerator and what you’ll get back in return.

Apply now for the 2018 Design Sprints

Please apply for only one design sprint, they will run from 9.00 to 5.00pm in:

São Paulo:  Saturday on November 3rd at WeWork: Av. Paulista, 1374 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP – Apply here

Rio de Janeiro: Sunday November 4th, at Echos Cowork: Av. Rainha Elizabeth, 769 Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro –  Apply here

Florianopolis: Sunday November 11th, at Comadre Cowork: Av. Madre Benvenuta, nº 1313 – Santa Mônica – Florianópolis/SC – Apply here

Notification to those accepted to each design sprint will be on a rolling basis.

Step 2  

New Ventures Lab- the 20-week Accelerator

The New Ventures Lab is a 20-week accelerator for women entrepreneurs who have a passion for the free press and independent media. We’ve designed a program that  focuses on the specific needs of each cohort and addresses the challenges of women as they rise to take on leadership roles as heads of their own companies.

Each cohort meets in person at the onset of the accelerator for five in-person days.  This experience solidifies our cohort and sets the stage for our teams as they progress through the remainder of the program.  While the cohort then meets again in-person for two additional five day periods (at week 10 and then at week 20), a significant amount of work is done virtually via required online trainings, team mentoring and team coaching sessions.

NVL begins January 14, 2019 and ends on June 7, 2019 (programming  to be suspended week of Carnival). 

What We’re Looking For

Women-led teams with a minimum of 2 team members and a maximum of 4 to actively participate in the accelerator.  Teams must have a concept that focuses on unbiased independent media as either a news organization or a product or service that supports independent news.

We’re also looking for teams whose focus is on freedom of the press, civic engagement, giving voice to underrepresented populations, societal issues, and government accountability using digital platforms.

What We Provide

We’ll give you access to world class mentors, instruction and guidance from experts in the industry, a network of over 5,000 women journalists, designers, and technologists throughout the world to draw from and an introduction to a host of funders from foundations and investors.

What We Expect in Return

Our expectations run deep. This is an intensive 20-week program that requires a deep commitment from you and your entire team.


Apply as a team for the NVL, a 20-week accelerator for early stage independent media start-ups.

Applications to be released on September 20, 2018 and due no later than November 20, 2018 at 11:59 PST.  

Notifications & Confirmations

Accepted teams will be notified no later than November 30th, 2018.  Confirmation of acceptance is due by December 10th, 2018.

Testimonials from the first NVL cohort in Brazil 2018

“It was very important to learn about business models, leadership skills and ways to pitch your idea. Moreover, it was important to learn to fail fast. We started the NVL with an idea and at the end we were already working with as a MVP. The debate and collaboration with the rest of the cohort were extremely valuable. The NVL gave me the courage to take my project to real life! “

“Todo lo que aprendimos sobre business models, budget, prototyping, product design, leadership y la experiencia de conocer cómo funcionan otros medios y organizaciones ha sido muy importante para mí y mi equipo en lo profesional. En lo personal, el taller de liderazgo y el enfoque de coaching fue una life changing experience. Pero lo más inspirador y transformador fue crecer juntas, entre personas tan distintas y a la vez tan similares, de diferentes nacionalidades y contextos. Ha sido una oportunidad maravillosa el vivir lo que predicamos, esa unión, solidaridad, el levantarnos juntas una a otra y apoyarnos aún en los momentos de duda o tristeza. El pitch de lanzamiento final fue increíble porque para mí mostró el progreso y la transformación personal de cada grupo. En general, me parece que ha habido un gran equilibrio entre el conocimiento técnico y las herramientas de desarrollo personal.”

“I had no idea how to mature a project, how to turn an idea into reality. When I started the NVL I did not know what would happen, nor if our project would have feasibility and today we realize that it is only the beginning of a path that promises success and recognition. I have learned that organization, leadership, trust, partnerships, knowledge and support are necessary, that we can not build something solid without the help of other people and, moreover, that I empower other women by giving them the opportunity to grow with me.”

Timeline- Spring Cohort

NVL Brazil spring cohort-will begin 14 January 2019 and end 7 June 2019. While much of the program is virtual, the spring cohort will meet in-person three times during the 20-weeks. All team members are required to attend all virtual and in-person meetings.

2019  required meetings of all team members accepted to the spring cohort

In-person sessions held in São Paulo, Brazil

  • January 14-18 9 am – 5 pm
  • March 25 – 29 9 am- 5 pm
  • June 3 -7 9 am- 5 pm

Virtual sessions

  • Team check in sessions with NVL manager 1 hour per week, there are the minimum requirements
  • Team live-stream educational sessions 2 hours per week (each session is 1 hour held 2 times each week)
  • Team mentor sessions 1 hour per week (each team is assigned a professional mentor directly related to their business objectives)

Educational Topics

Educational topics during both in-person and virtual sessions to include leadership, team development, staffing, revenue models, fundraising, venture capital, scalability, engagement strategies, distribution, budgeting, staffing, not for profit vs. for profit, digital tools, metrics and analysis, and more- as related to independent digital media investigative news organizations in Latin America.

NVL Mentors and Instructors

We have selected key industry experts and practitioner from highly regarded independent media organizations throughout the world-who have agreed to dedicate their time and resources to the success of independent digital media in Brazil.

Questions? Please contact us at [email protected]

We’ll do our best to get back with you promptly.

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The New Ventures Lab is being made possible by the generous support of our partners.