Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.

Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.

Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.

Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.

Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.

Escape Velocity: P2P Distributed Publishing

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1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

We are creating a decentralized media-sharing system that doesn’t require the internet to function.  It is a mobile solution to content out of an area in the case that an Internet connection is unavailable, particularly in cases of government censorship or emergencies involving the destruction of wireless infrastructure.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]

This project sits on the frontier of peer-to-peer mobile — the type that does not use existing infrastructure but is instead powered by local communication channels such as NFC, bluetooth, and light.  Mobile P2P in itself will completely redefine how we think about communication.  This project simply leverages the upcoming revolution.

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]

Everyone and their mother.  This will be a vital tool for activists who will be in situations where internet access cannot be guaranteed, but it also has all the locative-photo-sharing potential offered by Color without the locative-restrictions.

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.

Word of mouth, blogs, main stream media news articles.

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences]

We will build upon research carried out by academic institutions into secure and resilient proximity based P2P communications. We’ll work with communities that value the open web, such as Mozilla and the Tor Project,  to make sure that we can provide this service on web OS based low-end smartphones.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]

We are actively researching which protocols can be used for transmission/security and are looking into hooking into device APIs provided on various mobile devices. Additionally we have spoken with researchers (Travis Rich, Eyal Toledano) in the field, based at the MIT Media Lab’s Viral Communications group, to establish a clear path forward.

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]

News in locations without an internet connection being exposed thanks to our application. Internet black-outs becoming an ineffective method of blocking the spread of content.

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]

We need hardware to allow us to create, host, and test native and web applications for smartphones. We think it beneficial for our team to meet, code and talk in the same location from time to time and it would be useful to speak at related events and conferences, so we will need to assign resources to travel and accomodation.  We will also need resources to hire part-time and full-time programmers / architects / designers / etc.

Additional details: Available on Request
Please list who is on your team:

Dan Schultz

Laurian Gridinoc

Mark Boas, advisor

Travis Rich, advisor

Expected number of months to complete project:


Estimated Project Cost:


Name: Dan Schultz
Twitter: @slifty
Email address: 
Organization [if applicable]: N/A
City: Providence, RI
Country: USA
How did you learn about the contest?
This is a contest? I just randomly found this form, closed my eyes, typed, and hit submit.

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