Collab/Space San Francisco

Focus on audio innovation and podcasting startups

mic closeup

Podcasting has become the Next Big Thing for the second time in our current golden age of audio. But how can great audio startups survive and thrive? That will be the focus of our Collab/Space San Francisco workshop on September 12, 2015. The workshop is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and hosted by KQED. It will be an all-day, hands-on workshop focused on audio innovation. We will choose eight innovative startups, which will present their work to-date in lightning fashion followed by directed questions from the audience.  We’ll do collaborative exercises — using improv comedy techniques — to learn how to work better together, and break out into groups to help these startups get past their challenges. Our diverse group of participants includes entrepreneurs, journalists, publishers, technologists, designers, marketers, investors and major players in the audio and podcasting scene.

Register for the workshop now!

Collab/Space San Francisco is a production of MediaShift, with premier sponsorship from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism and hosted by KQED.

Presenting Startups + Projects
Radio-Canada’s Thematic Audio Thread
CIR’s Reveal News

To learn more about the presenting startups and projects, go here.

Note: Presenting projects will have the chance to apply to get the support of a capstone project by students at the Missouri School of Journalism in the 2015-2016 school year, thanks to RJI.

Key Speakers

steve henn npr 200

Steve Henn is NPR’s technology correspondent based in Menlo Park, California, who is currently on assignment with Planet Money. An award winning journalist, he covers the intersection of technology and modern life – exploring how digital innovations are changing the way we interact with people we love, the institutions we depend on and the world around us. You can follow him on Twitter @HennsEggs.

channing kennedy

Channing Kennedy is an Oakland-based media producer and trainer who’s worked for the last ten years at the intersection of race, culture and technology. His work has appeared at NPR, Colorlines, MSNBC and Al Jazeera, and he’s trained over 50 community organizers on how to run zero-budget video propaganda campaigns without contradicting their values. He’s the producer of the PostBourgie podcast, an ongoing conversation among journalists of color, and is an organizer of the San Francisco Zine Fest, one of the largest DIY arts festivals in the country. Learn more about him here, and follow him on Twitter @ckdotbiz.


Mark Glaser is founder and executive editor of PBS MediaShift and Idea Lab. He is a longtime freelance journalist whose career includes columns on hip-hop, reviews of videogames, travel stories, and humor columns that poked fun at the titans of technology. Glaser won the Innovation Journalism Award in 2010 from the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication. Glaser has been a guest on PBS’ “Newshour,” NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” KALW’s “Media Roundtable” and has been a speaker and moderator at many industry conferences. He has been running events for MediaShift and acting as the MC since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

radhika rao

Radhika Rao is an actor, improviser, storyteller, writer, and educator. She has performed theatre on stages, and outdoors in India, Boston, San Diego and now, most recently in the Bay Area. Some of her recent performances have been at the Asian American Storytelling Festival (Eth-noh-tec) in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as at Orcas Island, Wash.; Arabian Shakespeare Festival (Moroccan Love Story); Douglas Morrison Theatre (The Skin of Our Teeth), New Conservatory Theatre Center (‘Cock’, ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’), and SF Shakespeare Festival (‘Tamer Tamed’, ‘Julius Caesar’) where she is a resident artist. She was part of the Roar Improv Troupe in San Diego and now plays often at Leela Improv in San Francisco. She teaches theater and integrates theater into learning situations that involve populations ranging from kindergarten to university students and older adults and professionals of various backgrounds.


Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities. Learn more here.



The workshop will take place at a great location: KQED. KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, serves the people of Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive media and technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, get in touch with Kara Murphy, MediaShift’s sponsorship manager, at kara [at] mediashift [dot] org.

Audience interaction during Collab/Space Austin

Audience interaction during Collab/Space Austin

How It Will Work

Audio and podcasting startups in San Francisco and beyond applied to present, and we chose 8 innovation projects at various stages of development, who will do presentations to the group and answer questions. The group will help identify 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 startup and develop solutions for their challenges. Solutions will be shared with the full group at the conclusion of the day.

The goal will be to collaborate to help those startups 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.


Registration costs $149 for professionals and $99 for students, and includes a light breakfast, box lunch and drinks and appetizers at our mixer afterwards. We will invite key people in the audio and podcasting space in San Francisco and around the country, and will open up registration to the public as well.

Please go to this Eventbrite page to register!


Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9 am to 5 pm for the workshop, and 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm for the mixer.


2601 Mariposa St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 553-2129
Google Map location

KQED TV, Radio and Internet is located at the corner of Mariposa and Bryant Street in San Francisco near the Potrero Hill and Mission neighborhoods. It’s near the 9, 22, 27, 33 and 55 Muni bus lines and about a 15-minute walk from the 16th St. Mission BART station. There should be plenty of street parking during the day on Saturday.


September 12, 2015

> Collab/Space SF at KQED

> Targeted talks on collaboration and audio innovation.

> Selected audio and podcasting innovation projects present their work and list their challenges.

> Networking lunch

> Collaboration exercise with improv comedy techniques

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

> Reception and mixer with drinks and food at Dear Mom!

Here’s the agenda for the day.

Mixer at Dear Mom

Location: Dear Mom
2700 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 644-8445
Google Map location

After the workshop, we’ll convene for a happy hour mixer at Dear Mom, with participants at the workshop as well as some folks in the Bay Area who couldn’t attend the workshop. If you’d like to attend the mixer, it’s free of charge, but please RSVP ahead of time to reserve your spot. We’ll have appetizers and your first drink is on us!

Top image of microphone by Christian Cadena via Flickr Creative Commons.

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