Monday, November 8, 2010

For more information, contact:
Jan Schaffer or Andrew Pergam 202-885-8100

Washington, D.C. – Stacey Borden and Meghan Muntean, who earlier this year launched ChickRx, a witty health website for 20-something women, today were honored with J-Lab’s New Media Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The idea for ChickRx.com was funded last year by a grant from the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs program.

In addition to their $10,000 start-up award, Borden and Muntean, both invested personal savings into ChickRx to get the project off the ground. They began laying the groundwork for the company while Borden was an MBA student at Harvard Business School and Muntean was an Assistant Vice President at a Wall Street investment bank. Now supported with $400,000 from an angel investor, the website provides well-researched health news to women in a humorous, relatable way.

“It’s such a thrill to see two women take a site from an idea to a fully viable product in a matter of months,” said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which administers the program. “That’s the whole idea of the New Media Women Entrepreneurs program: Giving women entrepreneurs the backing and support to take their projects to the next level.”

ChickRx’s Borden and Muntean were selected to receive the $2,000 prize as New Media Women Entrepreneur of the Year because of the rapid launch and robust development of the site. The award was presented at the second annual New Media Women Entrepreneur Summit in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 2010.

“I left a stable, lucrative job because I believe in the very real need for ChickRx,” Muntean said in a press release when launching the site. “We have zero doubt young adult women need better health information that they’re currently getting. Aside from the delivering important info, we want to show our peers that they aren’t alone in their health concerns, and make them laugh at the same time. Who says an expert health site has to be boring?”

ChickRx is a DailyCandy-meets-WebMD type of resource addressing health issues that are increasingly discussed among young adult women. The site features expert Q&A, up-to-date news, product picks and celebrity tidbits across the following categories: sex & gynecology, fitness & nutrition, emotional health & relationships, dermatology, and general health.

ChickRx advisors include Chris Schroeder (CEO, HealthCentral), Trip Adler and Tikhon Bernstam (Co-Founders, Scribd), Janet Hanson (Founder, 85 Broads global women’s network), and Susan Kare (Principal, Susan Kare Design; former Creative Director, Apple).

The McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs (NMWE) is a unique initiative addressing opportunity and innovation, recruitment and retention for women in journalism by spotlighting their ingenuity and entrepreneurial abilities. Funding helps start-ups show what can be done.

To receive information on the 2011 call for proposals, go to http://www.newmediawomen.org. Deadline is April 4, 2011.

The McCormick Foundation advances the ideals of a free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country.

J-Lab helps news organizations and citizens use digital technologies to develop new ways for people to participate in public life. It also administers the Knight Citizen News Network (www.kcnn.org and www.J-Learning.org), the New Voices community media grant program (www.j-newvoices.org), the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism (www.j-lab.org), and the McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative (www.newmediawomen.org).

American University’s School of Communication is a laboratory for professional education, communication research and innovative production in the fields of journalism, film and media arts and public communication, working across media platforms and with a focus on public affairs and public service.