Archive for August, 2014

Summer travels showcase entrepreneurial successes

August 12, 2014

Two products from American Underground in Durham, N.C.

While technically “off” during the summer, the lack of school being in session hardly means productivity and scholarship grinds to a halt. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The summer months are a time for publishing and class prep, for discovery and exploration. I’ve been busy traveling up and down the east coast networking, learning and visiting sites to get some “best practice” insights and examples of “media startupery” in action. I thought I’d share some of my latest adventures here on the blog.

First up, was a week in New York City last month where I attended PBS MediaShift’s Collab/Space, an event focused on collaborative examination of some media intrapraneurship projects at companies like Vox Media, the New York Daily News, the Atlantic and even Facebook. I attended a breakout session on the Daily News’ media innovation lab.

Two days later, thanks to the generosity of a travel stipend from the Scripps Howard Foundation, I attended the first Entrepreneurial Journalism Educators’ Summit. Hosted by the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at City University of New York, I was able to connect with other academics who teach some form of media entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial journalism at other universities around the country world. I’m excited by future collaborations, such as a nationwide Innovators’ Cup that Ohio University’s Michelle Ferrier is spearheading.



Guns up @ NFL!


Guns up @ American Underground

I used the opportunity of being in New York to reconnect with old friends, colleagues and former students. New York’s Fordham University will host the World Media Economics and Management Conference in 2016 media entrepreneurship part of the global conference theme. I met with conference organizer and editor of the International Journal on Media Management Bozena Mierzejewska and her husband Axel Ropnack, as we brainstormed ideas for research, and conference session possibilities. One of my former students at the University ofGeorgia, AngelaAlfano, works for the National Football League and was kind enough togive me a tour of its New York headquarters. I also had coffee with another former UGA student, MarahLidey, who is doing big things at DoSomething.Org.

After New York, I headed back to my roots in the Triangle area of North Carolina. While checking out a book at the University of North Carolina, I dropped in to the J-school of my undergraduate alma mater. I ran into John Clark, who gave me an impromptu tour of the Reese News Lab, a digital innovation news space.

I also decided to tour American Underground, a cooperative working space for startups and one of 8 Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs around the country. The fun atmosphere, ranging from a Mario-themed rest cubicle to a slide from the top floor to the bottom, belies the serious work, from startups and individuals, taking place across three Triangle locations. One of the cool things about American Underground, (in my opinion) is it was founded by a local media company, Capitol Broadcasting, four years ago.


A Mario Brothers-themed rest area @ American Underground on Main Street in Durham, N.C.

Finally, my most recent jaunt took me up north to Montreal, Canada for the annual Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference last week.

Jan Schaffer of American University’s J-Lab organized a breakfast session with an excellent panel of educators who teach media entrepreneurship (all but one of the panelists was at the CUNY summit). In a separate division session, there was even a motion to add “entrepreneurship” to the media management and economics division name (the membership will vote on the name change later this fall). And I enjoyed catching up with fellow media management/entrepreneur educators, from near and far. I got to spend time with folks I’m proud to call my friends, including the likes of fellow ISOJers Jake Batsell (SMU), Carrie Brown (CUNY) and Jonathan Groves (Drury), and even (in a surprise appearance at his first AEJMC conference), Francisco Perez-Latre from the University of Navarra in Spain.


Dr. Francisco Perez-Latre from the University of Navarra in Spain.


Presenting a paper before the Media Management & Economics division at AEJMC in Montreal, Canada.





The summer travels have re-energized me as I return to Lubbock to help build an ecosystem to allow media entrepreneurship to grow and thrive in Silicon Prairie. Wheels up, Guns up!