Phillip Smith

Bringing it together for tomorrow’s media entrepreneurs with Matter, JSK, Medill & more

Lots has happened since I last wrote about a vision to “connect the dots” of the global “future of media“ movement known as Hacks/Hackers. New events. New local partnerships. It’s all very exciting. Read on.

Three weeks ago we announced the dates for our upcoming events in San Francisco (Jan 22–23), London (Feb 5–7), and New York (Feb 26–27). And in the coming weeks we’ll be announcing three more events in the US and Europe.

To have the kind of impact that we’re hoping for, the events require two key ingredients: passionate participants and engaged partners from the local media, investment, and entrepreneurial communities. These are the dots we are connecting:


There was some pretty amazing excitement when we announced that Seedcamp — Europe’s leading first-round fund for founders — was joining as a local partner for Connect London. Today we’re announcing that we’ve also confirmed Matter Ventures as a local partner for our San Francisco event. Here’s what Corey Ford, Matter’s Managing Director, had to say about it:

“We believe the future of media will be discovered through lots and lots of experiments and we created Matter to be that place where those experiments can happen. The two most important things we focus on everyday is building a culture of experimentation and a community of innovators. We are excited to work more closely with Hacks/Hackers to bring our communities closer together and expand our ecosystem of innovators.”


Not every founder starts out even thinking about themselves as a “founder” per se, and there is often a long journey before jumping into an accelerator or seeking investment for a new idea. To address this we sought out local partners that are focused on education and believe that entrepreneurial approaches are part of the future of news and information.

Today we’re announcing that we’ve forged partnerships with some amazing organizations and institutions in the space: Medill University’s Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at CUNY, New School’s Journalism + Design program, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, and NYC Media Lab.

“We’re really excited about this collaboration. For some years now we have believed that entrepreneurship — taking a risk to create something new by seeing and responding to an opportunity — is one of journalism’s most promising futures,” — Jim Bettinger, JSK Fellowships Director.


Developed in partnership with Google News Lab, which empowers innovation at the intersection of technology and media, Connect is organized in collaboration with local Hacks/Hackers chapters, and works closely with local early-stage investors, digital agencies, product-development experts, and highly-relevant academic programs, in order to best meet the needs of the local media and entrepreneurial community.

In addition to the local partners above, we’ve also confirmed Alley Interactive and Grand Central Tech. These local partnerships enable us to bring experienced mentors to each event; mentors work hands-on with participants throughout the day to provide the knowledge and encouragement necessary to help to bring new products, ideas, and companies into the news-media space.

If there are other people or organizations who should be part of this movement, drop me a line.

And, as always, to stay up-to-date with all of the dates, locations and details of upcoming Connect events, visit


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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