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.

Kulilo App

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(Submited twice because of time, pleasse use this one as my entry)

1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

It’s social crowd sourcing news and current affairs mobile app.

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

My app runs on mobile platforms to turn the user into their own local reporter. The app has a quick launch mechanism that makes it easier to whip out and make record of what’s going on either in the form of a video, an image, plain text or all three.

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

The target group is, but not limited to, those in their early 20’s and early 30’s mainly.

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

1) My main objective is to have writers and publishers publish quality content during the initial stage of the app, and have that content featured on news websites or news channels, similar to how twitter has been used for that lately, but on a dedicated platform. This was it can be viewed as a free alternative source of current affairs within communities that’s constantly being updated.

2) Paid ads online, in app stores and other apps.

3) Word of mouth is always a great way to gain substantial growth, we want to engage our target group enough to have them refer the app to others so they can read their content.

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

I met Ory (Founder of Ushahidi) at a hackathon I took part in recently in Zimbabwe and we exchanged contacts. I have made a number of other strategic connections locally with people who work at media houses and newspapers.

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

I have already built the fully fledged app and its fully functional on iOS. I have been working on building it for Android before launching it as to not have my idea stolen because of a lack of early funding and penetration.

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

Being able to pivot in the near future and turning it into a social reporting platform for any kind of personal, social or community news to be posted and shared. I plan to have this app cater to a broader scale of users and not just a niche in the future. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube. These all provide a platform for reporting but they are scattered, I see this app combining all of these platforms into one, ambiguous but sective platform in future.

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

I would need to build a team firstly, find skilled developers and be strategically located in a healthy market so we can monetize and get funding quicker. We would also need the ability to form strategic alliances with influential people.

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:Shaun Benjamin
Expected number of months to complete project: 2 months
Estimated Project Cost: $800,000
Name: Shaun benjamin
Twitter: @beervent
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]: N-Sho technologies
City: Harare
Country: Zimbabwe
How did you learn about the contest?

From a friend who is a news reporter.