Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Charlotte hosts entrepreneur competition to address community issues

March 7, 2012, 9:55 a.m., Posted by Susan Patterson

Meet Julie Jones, a second-grade teacher with a big idea. She was the winner at the first annual social entrepreneur competition, organized by Charlotte's Social Venture Partners and supported by Knight Foundation. Eighty-two organizations applied. Twenty finalists were selected, and then 40 volunteer coaches worked with the 2012 class to hone their messages and their 3-minute TED talk-like presentations. All were terrific, but Julie especially so.

Her idea: a grub composting program that uses a bioconversion process to divert food waste from our landfills while producing protein-rich chicken and fish feed. 

And how did she come to this idea? By watching her students dump food in the cafeteria trash cans each day.

JumpStart invests in Akron start up

March 6, 2012, 4:11 p.m., Posted by Jennifer Thomas

JumpStart has invested $250,000 in an Akron-based company that uses an adhesive pad to dissipate heat generated in computers and electronics. The adhesive was inspired by the properties of the footpads of geckos, the small lizards that are able to climb walls. JumpStart, in part funded by Knight Foundation, has invested $2.75 million in Akron-based companies.

The news was featured in the Saturday edition of the Akron Beacon Journal in an article "Gecko feet inspire startup business, attract money." 

Last month, Knight Foundation announced a $1 million grant to Jumpstart to support an effort to bring a new model for engaging residents in fostering entrepreneurship to 20 cities across the country.

iWitness Aims to Aggregate News By Time and Place

March 6, 2012, 3:36 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

The following, written by 2011 News Challenge Winner iWitness, is crossposted from PBS Media Shift.

By Jesse James Garrett:

Let's face it: The great promise of citizen media has not really been fulfilled. News organizations have struggled to find ways to supplement their coverage of news events with contributions from citizens -- and finding citizen media related to a news event is currently difficult at best.

Keyword searches and hashtags provide partial solutions, but still do not differentiate between first-person accounts and other kinds of content. And although more and more services allow their content to be geotagged, few tools take advantage of this data in meaningful ways.

That's where we come in. My company, Adaptive Path, is a user experience design firm based in San Francisco, and with funding from the Knight News Challenge, we're building a tool that we call iWitness.