San Diego State Students Win Concept2Reality $1,000 Award

Fourth Estate Mobile, a team of MBAs and undergraduates from San Diego State University, won the First National Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality Competition held this past week at Kennesaw State University. The Competition was sponsored by Kennesaw’s Center for Sustainable Journalism, whose mission is “to ensure that high quality, ethically sound journalism remains a part of our democracy.”

In addition to finishing First Overall, Fourth Estate Mobile was also judged to have the Best Start-up Feasibility, Written Summary, Verbal Presentation, and Second Best Long-term Market Potential. For its win Fourth Estate Mobile will receive an award plaque and a cash prize of $1,000.

Fourth Estate Mobile provides a proprietary Content Management System (CMS) platform that allows newspapers to submit content onto an application accessible across multiple smart phones. Through Fourth Estate Mobile’s website accessible CMS, newspaper editors can easily upload content onto their application directly from their computers.

Editor’s aside: We are working on posting a video or IM interview tomorrow with Jesse Villanueva, who made the winning presentation — and this not a fantasy idea. It is a well developed plan growing out of his experience as advertising director for the Daily Aztec, San Diego State University’s student-run newspaper. He and people like him will be the future of reinventing journalism. More tomorrow.

Finishing Second in this first Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality Competition was the Visual Talking™ team under the direction of Mark Grace. The VisualTalking concept aims to use fewer words and more visuals to tell stories. Think storytelling using graphic novel techniques and doing so quickly from your own computer or mobile device. For its second place finish, Visual Talking will receive an Award plaque and a cash prize of $500.

Finishing in a tie for Third Place was the online Credibility & Ethics Seal, a concept presented by Susanna Capelouto , news director at Georgia Public Broadcasting. On-line journalism is in a crisis of credibility. The Credibility & Ethics Seal is a registry with an ethics pledge to be used on blogs and web sites as a “seal of credibility and ethics”. It would be self sustaining through a nominal annual registration fee. The Credibility & Ethics Seal will receive an Award plaque in recognition of its achievement

Tying for Third Place was My Green ATL presented by Ken Edelstein, former editor of Atlanta’s Creative Loafing. My Green ATL connects Atlanta residents who care about the environment with credible information about the environment and with local businesses that sell or rent green products and services. Its role is to serve as the region’s most comprehensive environmental news and event listings site. My Green ATL will be funded with an affinity-based discount network that connects green consumers to the products and services they want. The credibility it acquires in the process of “convening” its green audience will provide a foundation for enterprise journalism which will be funded a la carte through foundation grants and NPR-style fund-drive efforts. Editor’s aside: In full disclosure, the Center for Sustainable Journalism is providing Edelstein limited support to help develop his concept. The judges were independent of the Center.

The judges for this first Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality Competition were Dr. Kirby S. Black, Principal, Chamberlin Associates, Dr. F. Russell Denton, MBA, JD, Patent Attorney; Karen Rands, Founder and CEO, The Launch Funding Network; Ray Sams, Creative Director of Programming and Production, The Weather Channel, and Catherine Shen, VP, Strategic Communications, Points of Light Institute. Ray Sams and Catherine Shen’s primary role was to assess the Journalistic creativity, innovativeness, and “worthiness” of the various concepts. Dr. Kirby S. Black and Karen Rands primary role was to assess the start-up feasibility and long-term economic viability of the various concepts. Dr. Russell Denton’s primary role was to assess the patent, trademark, and other intellectual property protections that the various concepts would be able to obtain in order to enhance their “sustainability” over time.

Dr. Charles Hofer, Regents Professor of Entrepreneurship, Founder of Kennesaw’s original Concept-2-Reality Competition, and Co-Founder of the Sustainable Journalism Concept-2-Reality Competition, said: ” I was thrilled when the Center for Sustainable Journalism contacted me and asked whether it would make sense to create such a competition to help generate new ideas to enhance the future of America’s “Fourth Estate” because of the importance of a vibrant free press to the maintenance of the rights and freedoms we all hold so dear. I was also concerned about whether we would receive enough “high quality” entries to justify such a competition because in our “regular” Concept-2-Reality Competitions, we seldom got more than one entry from a single industry. Our four finalists put all of those concerns to rest. They demonstrated clearly that America’s journalists are developing myriad new ideas to enhance the future of American journalism.”

Funding for this contest and for the Center for Sustainable Journalism is provided by a generous grant from the Harnisch Foundation.

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