MIAMI—Sept. 17, 2014—The LAB Miami and Festival of Media LatAm today announced 10 semifinalists for the Media Sparks competition, an inaugural event connecting innovative Miami media and marketing startups with Latin American businesses. The Sept. 30 event is being held at The LAB Miami with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The finalists represent diverse projects ranging from a publishing platform for freelance and entrepreneurial journalism to an app that provides a convenient way to post multimedia content across multiple social platforms. All have the potential to make an impact in the fields of media and marketing in Latin America.
At the event, the 10 semi-finalists will present their projects before a panel of judges. The judges will then select the top three to five companies that will go on to present again at the Festival of Media LatAm in Miami Beach on Oct. 3. One winner will be named the “Hottest Media Startup of the Year.” Judges include: Carlos Garcia, CEO of Nobox; Marco Giberti, partner, Vesuvio Ventures and an angel investor; Stephen Grabiner, member, board of directors for Times Newspapers; and Charlie Crowe, chairman, C Squared.
“Media Sparks provides a global platform for budding media startups and entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative businesses. This year’s shortlist shows we have already uncovered some of the most innovative and game-changing businesses across the Latin American media industry,” said Charlie Crowe, chairman and editor in chief of Festival of Media LatAm.
“As a gateway to the Americas, Miami provides innovators with the chance to make an impact both locally and globally,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation’s Miami program director.. “Media Sparks is one example of this. It gives local startups the opportunity to connect with companies from Latin America to share experiences and scale their ideas, while allowing international media companies the chance to sample innovation being developed here.”
The 10 semi-finalists participating in the 2014 Media Sparks competition are:
- SociallyBuzz: a social media management, marketing and advertising company for businesses.
- Jurnid: a simple way to publish and read news stories of any genre.
- Everypost: an app that allows an easy and convenient way to post multimedia content across multiple social platforms.
- Handprint: a smartphone that international travelers can use in the United States that offers a daily, flat rate for talk, text and data.
- Partnetting: a business-to-business online community that facilitates and recommends connections between enterprises.
- Yandiki: a digital services company that helps businesses hire and manage creative talent and services from around the world.
- Komuns: a social network that helps parents meet new families and share events together.
- Smart Beemo: a digital marketing tool that helps boost social media campaigns with real-time intelligence and data.
- MediaAmplify: a one-stop-shop media distribution platform through which multimedia content is delivered from one platform to all devices including traditional cable/satellite.
- Bederr: a smartphone app that allows people to access loyalty programs, credit card services and other benefits in one place, as well as connect with local businesses.
At the event, the semi-finalists will have five minutes to present, followed by five minutes of a judge-led question and answer session. Finalists will move on to present at the Festival of Media LatAm. To register as an attendee, visit www.mediasparks.eventbrite.com.
From Oct. 1-3, the Festival of Media LatAm will feature dozens of thought-provoking speakers and panelists including: Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare; Ted Nash, co-founder & CEO of Tapdaq; and Adam Ostrow, CEO of Mashable. Innovative companies from all over the globe will share their insights on how they connect with their audience in a fast-changing media landscape, and share insights with semifinalists on ways to grow a successful business.
Support for Media Sparks forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and opportunity. Over the past 18 months Knight has made more than 80 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
About The LAB Miami
The LAB Miami is a 10,000 square-foot campus for startups, creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators of all types nestled in the thriving Wynwood Arts District in Miami, FL. The LAB Miami provides workspace, educational programming, mentoring, and community events as a means to catalyze and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Florida. Learn more at www.thelabmiami.com.
About C Squared (producers of Festival of Media LatAm)
C Squared Networks Ltd is one of the fastest-growing specialist publishing, events and technology companies in Europe. Its mission is to help the global media and marketing industry become more connected and better informed so that it is fully equipped to respond to the challenges and opportunities brought about by digital technology and globalization. The company first launched Cream magazine in 2005 to reflect the changes taking place in global media. Cream has now become the world’s largest database of media innovation and its bespoke technology serves many of the leading global agency groups and multinational advertisers. C Squared launched The Festival of Media in Venice in 2007 and the brand now has 3 major Events across the world, attended by 4,000 senior delegates and receiving over 3,000 Awards entries annually. In 2009, C Squared acquired the leading brand M&M Global; plus the M&M Global Awards and the popular media training course, IMM. In 2013 C Squared received private investment from Stephen Grabiner allowing for further opportunity for development and growth in the brands. www.csquared.cc
About Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. More at knightfoundation.org.
Daniel Lafuente – Co-founder, The LAB Miami and contact for Festival of Media LatAm (305) 496-4448, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, email@example.com
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.