Project Description for ONA MJ Bear Fellowship

When you think about the technology industry and startup scene, where do you think about?  Well, you probably think about Silicon Valley right? You probably don’t think about Austin, Texas and you definitely don’t think about San Antonio, Texas.  But the Texas hill country currently has a thriving startup scene, and my Job as a reporter for is to let the rest of the country – and world – know what these startups are doing.

As to my personal project, this year I have created a video series for the site called A Slice of Silicon Hills – in which I find and interview San Antonio and Austin entrepreneurs about their ventures. The format is a one-one-one interview, lasting 5 minutes to 10 minutes, in which I discuss a startup’s product, business model, and growth plan as well as the struggles they have been through as they develop their new business. I plan out, coordinate content for, and host each show personally. The show is produced by the Silver Fox Studios at Geekdom, a coworking and startup incubator in San Antonio. Interviews are booked by either myself or by my editor Laura Lorek.

A Slice of Silicon Hills is a critical part of getting the faces that make up the Silicon Hills tech scene on camera for the rest of the nation. Guests must talk about their business strategy and their plans for expansion in addition to just showing off their product — showing not just that they exist, but that they matter to the tech industry.

My show moves digital journalism forward because of its approach. I have purposely tailored the show’s format to the strengths of online journalism — as opposed to trying to imitate an existing format. The show is short and simple — under 10 minutes — due to the brief attention span of an online viewer. The presentation is content-oriented – I introduce my guest, ask them questions, get good answers, and don’t waste time on small talk or flashy presentation. The questions themselves are focused: What is the product, why will people want this, what is the business model to sell it to them, and why is the company located in Austin or San Antonio. Along with each show, there is a brief article describing the company. This gives the viewer the basic information as fast as possible, and provides context for what they are about to see.

This is the best way to do online content. The presentation takes advantage of both text and video, the show format front-loads important information as quickly and simply as possible, and the information is relevant to consumers, investors, and other startups who are tackling similar challenges.

As I continue this project, I plan to also create a monthly show in which I will gather a few technology industry leaders to discuss specific issues — such as learning from a startup’s failure and or finding sources of funding.

Thank you for your consideration.


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