The Brown Institute Announces Its 2022 Venture Challenge Competition Winners

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation in partnership with the Columbia Venture Competition and Columbia Entrepreneurship are please to announce the winners of their inaugural 2022 Innovation Challenge in Journalism, Media, and Technology. The projects in this group focus on creating sustainable and scalable ventures to enable, empower and facilitate the work of journalists and media professionals.

The winners of the Innovation Challenge will be given financial awards as well a seat in our 10-week Summer Entrepreneurship Program designed and led by Justin Hendrix. At the end of this program, founders will be able to pitch for a final price of up to $100k and participation in our Magic Grant program.

We are grateful to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winners!

Descriptions of the winning projects can be found below.

1st place – Sourceable

Led by Lena Arkawi (SIPA class of 2022), Sourceable is an online platform and mobile application that empowers, supports, and connects citizen journalists in conflict and crises zones. Leveraging innovative verification technology, Sourceable helps users document, verify, archive, and share newsworthy stories directly to customers – media, human rights groups and legal entities. Sourceable grants journalists, human rights professionals, and legal advocates timely access to verified documentation by citizen journalists. By leveraging cutting-edge technology like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies, Sourceable minimizes the challenges of documenting, verifying, archiving, and sharing newsworthy content to a global audience in real-time.

2nd place – CollabWORK

Led by Summer Delaney (CBS class of 2022) CollabWORK is a transparent gig marketplace to help creators and media brands find short-term work and workers to collaborate and tell great stories. As such, CollabWORK is the job board for the large, highly fragmented and fast-growing creator economy. They are the first transparent job marketplace to help storytellers (multimedia journalists, producers, writers, editors, directors, etc.) find legitimate, short-term production jobs and get hired to do the work they love. CollaboWORK is initially focused on serving journalists and production staffers as well as independent media companies by allowing them to find the most reliable talent during breaking news events or time sensitive projects.

3rd place – Indian Data Explorer

Led by Sriharsha Devulapalli (CJS class of 2022), Indian Data Explorer liberates Indian public datasets by taking the responsibility of ensuring that any data released by the government is cleaned up, readied and made available freely for the general public. The primary product will be cleaned up datasets available on a easy to use website. Indian Data Explorer wants to be a single, unified, free, and comprehensive website for all public data in India, à la Our World in Data/USA Facts. Indian Data Explorer wants to provide high quality and machine-readable data to aid public discourse on the country using data-backed facts. They also want to provide context and ensure India is understood better through its numbers.

Honorable mention – Radical

Led by Eugene Joseph (CJS and SEAS class of 2020), Radical is a web platform where users can have live-audio conversations and share high-definition connection-quality-resistant recordings after talking. The recordings can be published to the community on Radical and across the internet using customizable embed players. Users can also download the recordings and autogenerated transcripts to share them on other platforms. Radical substantially lowers the barrier to entry to publishing audio conversations online and will continue expanding on this value proposition with features like audiogram generators, an interface to edit recordings directly from the browser, and generating RSS feeds to share conversations to Podcasting services easily.