Interested in contributing to our quarterly pubication: the update?
Well, you're in the right place.
Below you'll find a form to submit your editorial idea. If it's a fit, we'll ask you to write a full draft.
You'll also find all the information you need to start contributing. our expectations, timeline, and process.
If you have more questions, email us here.
You can sign up for the update or see example editorials here.
about the update
the update is a curated quarterly publication of editorials, trends, and stories. It's another avenue to help the listener learn to think like a venture investor through unique perspectives of startup investors, founders, and community builders outside of Silicon Valley.
Additionally, we’ll use the platform as a medium to share updates about upside podcos, announce big news in our community, and promote original content by thought leaders outside of SV.
what we’re looking for
originality through authenticity
It’s hard to write something truly unique. Chances are whatever you want to write about has been said before. So, the only way to add something original is to add something authentically ‘you.’
We're not looking for corporate by lines and regurgitated cliches to drive SEO. Listing 10 reasons why Buffalo is the best place for startups isn’t interesting to us.
Telling the world about what you think needs to change in Buffalo, proposing wild solutions to challenges in Buffalo, or telling an emotional story about being hurt and healed in Buffalo. That’s the authenticity we’re looking for.
You have a unique perspective shaped by the city you live in, the organization you work for, and the people (digital or real) that you surround yourself with. Challenge the reader’s perspective by letting your perspective loose.
What insight do you have that no one else does? Or, in Thiel’s words, what do you know to be true that no one in the world agrees with?
People want to read about humans and experiences; emotions and challenges; internal monologues and outward conflict. It’s why Michael Lewis outsells the Harvard Business Review. They tell you the same thing, differently.
We’re not asking you to be Michael Lewis, but we are asking you to personalize your writing to the best of your abilities. Using example case studies of companies, leaders, and employees that you have first hand experience with to explore a topic gives it incredible depth (this is also the secret of Malcolm Gladwell).
required length of an editorial
We are believers that an editorial should be the length that it should be. For a ballpark, we recommend 600-1000 words as depth and insight usually takes a little time to develop. However, this is your voice so if you need less or more, we’re not your boss.
how contributors are selected
We will select around half a dozen editorials for each issue. Contributors are selected based upon their unique insight, ability to provide a piece of adequate depth, and add to the diversity of the overall issue for that quarter.
If you are not selected in Q1, that does not mean your editorial wouldn't be a fit for Q2. If we believe your topic would not be a fit for the overall goals of the update, we will tell you up front.
submit an editorial idea
August 1: initial draft due
August 8: suggested edits from the upside team
September 4: publication date
if my idea is selected, what’s the process look like?
- Send initial draft to Jay/Eric on 8/1
- Receive comments on or before 8/8
- Publication date: 9/4
- Expectations: share on publication week on personal LinkedIn, Twitter, personal blog, mailing/distribution list; same for company mediums if applicable
Anyone involved in startups, venture investing, startup community development, public policy, or a related space outside of Silicon Valley.
who are you targeting?
People willing to be authentic in their writing. Outsiders who challenge traditional conceptions and frameworks within firms, communities, countries, and the world.
I noticed a lot of past guests have been on the upside podcast. Am I disadvantaged if I haven’t been?
Nope. To the contrary, we’d prefer new voices and ideas. If we love the way you think and it seems like a fit, we’d love to have you on the podcast after. So, bring it!
do I have to pay to be featured?
...while your offer is enticing, we believe money changes incentives and access. So, no pay to play here. Be interesting -- that’s the only entrance fee.
is this a paid gig then?
Nope. We’re poor. So, we can either pay you in a pack of gum or social engagement and sharing (hint: it will be the latter).
can I cross-post this content?
We can’t force you to do anything but we’ll ask that you wait 30 days from publication until posting the article elsewhere. And, ask that when you post it you include the opening blurb below.
This article was previously posted on the update vol. # (link), the curated quarterly publication for startup investing outside of Silicon Valley. You can subscribe to the update here. The update is an initiate by Jay Clouse and Eric Hornung, co-hosts of upside.fm, the first podcast about startup investing outside of Silicon Valley
Do you want a paid part time job editing quarterly company updates and chatting with startups?
Email us here with the subject “update fellow”
- a little about yourself
- a resume or video introduction
- a list of your social profiles and personal websites (with links)
- 2-3 writing samples.
The fellowships take place 4 months a year: February, May, August, and November.
Fellows are paid on a monthly rate. 50% of day 1, and 25% on day 15, and 25% on publication date assuming milestones are hit.
Your name and profile of choice is included on the by line of every update.
- fascination with startups
- no excuses attitude
- action-oriented mindset
- ability to ask great questions
- writing skills
nice to haves
- journalism or business writing major/minor
- personal / professional blog
- business or engineering major/minor
- involvement with entrepreneurship club or office at university
- involvement with entrepreneurial community initiatives (startup week/weekend, chamber of commerce, entrepreneurship centers)
- startup work experience
- desire to start a company, be a venture capitalist, and/or work in a startup community