TechNexus Space, Chicago

How can media startups break through, survive and thrive? That will be the focus of the upcoming Collab/Space Chicago workshop on September 24, 2014, the day before the ONA14 conference. Sponsored by the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford and hosted by TechNexus, it will be an all-day, hands-on workshop focused on media innovation and spotlighting cutting-edge media startups –  in the Chicago area and beyond. We’ll be selecting several innovative media startups, which will present their startups in lightning fashion, with questions from the audience. Later we’ll do collaborative exercises — using improv comedy techniques — to learn how to work better together, and break out into groups to help the startups get past their challenges. But we’ll also be learning how to take those solutions back to our own workplaces. Plus, we’ll be collaborating with a diverse group of participants, including entrepreneurs, journalists, technologists, designers, marketers, investors and major players in the tech and media scene.

Register for the workshop now!

Want to present your media startup? Apply here! (Deadline to apply is August 15.)

Collab/Space Chicago is a production of PBS MediaShift and sponsored by The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford and hosted by TechNexus.

Knight Journalism FellowshipsThe John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford foster journalistic innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Each year, 20 outstanding individuals from around the world are selected to participate in the program.  They are given the resources to pursue and test their ideas for improving the quality of news and information reaching the public.

How It Will Work

Media-related startups in Chicago and beyond can apply to present at the workshop. We’ll choose 8 startups at various stages of development. Startups will make brief presentations to the group and answer questions. We will list their 3 biggest challenges, whether that’s financial, technological, marketing, distribution or some other major challenge. Later in the day, we’ll divide into breakout groups around each project and develop solutions for their challenges. Solutions will be shared with the full group, and we’ll keep track of the projects and provide updates and share their progress in coverage on MediaShift.

The goal will be to collaborate to help those projects succeed in the long run, creating interest groups for them on the spot (and afterwards), while also networking between the tech and media communities. We’ll end the day with a mixer which is open to the community, to encourage further discussion and networking.


Early bird registration will cost $99 for participants and $49 for students.  Regular registration will be $129 for participants and $79 for students — so register early. We will invite key people in the media and tech scenes both in Chicago and around the country.

Please go to this Eventbrite page to register!

Collab Space Atlanta

Collab/Space Atlanta


You’ll get to hear from media innovators, and work with them on teams, too!  Also, we expect key people to attend from local media organizations, journalism and communication schools, investment firms and other people active in the entrepreneurial and media scenes.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014
9 am to 5 pm for the workshop
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm for the mixer

technexus logo grab


Location: TechNexus, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1200  |  Chicago, IL 60606
Google Map for the location

TechNexus co-founds disruptive technology ventures on the frontiers of innovation by aligning corporations with entrepreneurs, assembling the right combination of staff, engineers and resources, and then guiding those businesses to customers and markets. Its resources include a national open network for innovation, a content publishing platform, industry-leading research and a 50,000-square-foot incubator at its headquarters in Chicago’s Civic Opera Building.


> Targeted talks on collaboration and media innovation.

> Selected media startups present their work and list their challenges.

> Networking lunch

> Break out into teams for improv exercise

> Work collaboratively to help solve challenges for the startups, and present that to the group.

And a Mixer Too?

After the workshop we’ll invite the public to join us for a MediaShift Mixer with drinks and snacks for all.  It will be a chance to share with we’ve learned with friends and colleagues.  If you’re not attending the workshop you can register for the free mixer here.

Note: Collab/Space Chicago is not affiliated with ONA14.