Former Tow-Knight award winner Jeanne Pinder recently won $14,000 in the McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs fifth annual competition for her ClearHealthCosts.com startup.Ms. Pinder’s ambitious effort aims to bring transparency to health-care costs by helping consumers compare significant variations in local prices for the same medical procedures. The veteran New York Times editor and reporter was one of the first mid-career journalists to enroll in Professor Jeff Jarvis’ Entrepreneurial Journalism class and won a $20,000 award from the Tow-Knight Center to pursue her health-care project. She then won a $20,000 grant from the inaugural Women Entrepreneurs in the Global Digital News Frontier program, sponsored by the International Women’s Media Foundation, funded by the Ford Foundation.
“We’re excited and humbled by this vote of confidence from the highly respected McCormick and J-Lab teams,” said Pinder. “We’re also exhilarated to be in the process of re-launching the site with new interactive features, so come on over and sign up as a beta tester on the site’s home page and help us bring transparency to the health-care marketplace.”
The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs “is a unique initiative addressing opportunity and innovation, recruitment and retention for women in journalism by spotlighting their ingenuity and entrepreneurial abilities.” Four projects were selected from among the 227 proposals submitted to this year’s competition.
“This year’s winners demonstrated clear-cut mindsets to take their start-up ideas and grow them into entrepreneurial businesses,” said Jan Schaffer, director of the J-Lab, which administers the program.
“It’s not easy for experienced journalists to go out on their own – to become entrepreneurs,” said Tow-Knight Center Director Jeff Jarvis. “Congratulations to Jeanne. This was a tough competition and coming out on top is quite an achievement.”