Bonnier To Assist Start-ups In New 'Lab'

Canble-CarBonnier Corp. on Thursday announced an initiative to fund digital media start-ups and provide training at a new facility at its Boulder office. Through the project, four start-ups will be chosen to participate in a 14-week program at the newly created Bonnier Innovation Lab next January, which is designed to accelerate their growth.

Among the business topics covered will be product and audience development; SEO, SEM, social media marketing; community management; content strategy; email marketing; and investor relations. Outside speakers and Bonnier staff will take part in the seminar portion of the program.

Each of the selected companies, which will operate from the Lab for the 14 weeks, will receive $25,000, with additional funding available on a case-by-case basis. Bonnier will provide nearly $100,000 in benefits from third-party vendors to assist start-ups with PR, e-commerce, Web hosting and HR services.

The vendors include the Metzger PR firm, PayPal, Microsoft and Amazon.

The publishing giant said it's looking specifically to bring media-centric outfits into the Lab, including bloggers and blog networks, mobile publishers, online news outlets, movie studios, social media networks and photo and video-sharing companies.

“Bonnier Innovation Lab is centered on accelerating company growth via access to expertise and customers that the founders would otherwise not have access to as an early stage company,” stated David Rich, director of the Lab, in a statement. “We can provide invaluable feedback to help drive the best possible end product."

In addition to Rich -- who also serves as director of digital innovation at Bonnier -- other executives and entrepreneurs involved as “mentors” with the Lab include Brad Feld, a managing director at venture capital firm Foundry Group; Jennifer Anderson, who manages digital audience development at Bonnier; and Laura Rich, founder and CEO of Street Fight, an industry publication and events company for hyperlocal marketing and technology.

Companies that wish to be part of the initial training session at the Lab can apply at www.bonniercorp.com/innovationlab

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