We are excited to announce Matter Two!

This was an extraordinarily competitive and rigorous selection process. Hundreds of startups applied from across the U.S. and from around the world. It’s clear that word of Matter has spread, and our focus on mission, our design thinking and entrepreneurship program, and our growing community of mentors and partners is a beacon for many remarkable entrepreneurs.

We conducted in-person interviews with the top 48 semi-finalists and then selected 20 finalists to complete an 8-hour design thinking assignment that tested key assumptions about the desirability, feasibility, and viability of their ventures.

And then we jumped into a round of intensive follow-up conversations, product demos, code reviews, reference checks, due diligence, and many, many, internal discussions about our choice.

We are so proud of the result – Matter is investing in 7 media startups that will change media for good:

Connu helps emerging writers find, connect with, and monetize audiences through publishing the best new short stories.

Contextly enables publications of all sizes to be both informative and viable in the age of drive-by readers by marrying editorial wisdom to the power of algorithms.

Creative Action Network is a marketplace for artists, causes and supporters to harness their talents for good by creating, buying and sharing original, crowdsourced creative content and merchandise.

Formidable Corp. bursts the filter bubble to help connect you to people outside of your social circle.

GetCast empowers creative professionals to take control of their careers by connecting them through a platform that helps them showcase their work, hone their craft, and collaborate on a global scale.

Hacklog empowers individual journalists to be more relevant to their audiences, impactful with their stories, and in charge of their careers by providing honest analytics.

Woopie (Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere) empowers writers and publishers to easily reach their audiences on all devices and platforms through a digital content publishing tool focused on responsive design.

Last week, these 15 mission-driven entrepreneurs packed up their lives and converged on their new home in San Francisco.  They traveled from as far as Finland, Argentina, and Ireland and from as close as SOMA and the Mission.  Matter has officially gone international.

Their journey kicked off with an intense, week-long bootcamp focused on building scalable media ventures using a human-centered and prototype-driven process.

The experience not only gave our entrepreneurs the tools and mindsets they’ll need to navigate the “drunken walk of the entrepreneur,” but also established the culture and community that will provide the true acceleration of the Matter experience.

Now, we drive to Demo Day.  Each team with unveil their products on Feb. 20 in San Francisco and on Feb. 25 in New York City.

Where you see the teams now is just a snapshot in time. Each team will constantly iterate on its product, its distribution strategy, and its business model by getting out into the world, testing its assumptions, and gaining traction with their customers. The application process was all about testing to see if they could do that.

Each day they will be a step closer to hitting the sweet spot of feasibility, viability, and desirability.  We are excited to see where they end up.

The adventure has just begun.