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Key West Watch was named one of three runners-up in the annual McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs Initiative. The program, which awards grants to start-up companies owned by women, this week recognized four winners and three runners-up from a field of 227 applications.

Being a runner-up on this list is a very big deal. Competition for the grant program is fierce. To make it to that final round is pretty darn sweet. I’ve worked on the Key West business plan since 2007, when it was nothing more than a napkin and some scribbles. I’ve believed in it, and to have that plan recognized as one that’s got the legs to make it, is, well, way cool.

The top four projects split $56,000 in grants; we remaining three get bragging rights, and clearly, I am taking advantage.

This puts Key West Watch in amazing company with six other women-owned projects Projects like these demonstrate the diversity, power and effectiveness of women in business. It is a humbling experience to share a list with them. (And, I’ve invited them all to Key West next year for an anniversary celebration.”

Read more about the awards and the winners.

Here’s the list of winners from yesterday’s news release:

The winners are:

  •, an ambitious effort launched by former New York Times editor Jeanne Pinder to do what many thought couldn’t be done: bring transparency to health-care costs by helping consumers compare significant variations in local prices for the same medical procedures.
  • Symbolia, a tablet magazine spearheaded by media strategist Erin Polgreen that will blend investigative journalism with comics and illustration.
  • Carolina Public Press, a non-profit, in-depth, investigative news site for western North Carolina, launched by journalist Angie Newsome.
  • The Seattle Lesbian, a daily news site started by two journalists, Sarah Toce and Charlene Strong, who aspire to roll their initial success with news and traffic to a national network of sites.

Runners-up included:

  • Florida Voices, a digital opinion and commentary project to capture the conversations on state issues.
  • Key West Watch, a web, print and social media initiative to connect off-island Key West homeowners to news and public policy decisions that affect island life.
  • The FilAm, an online magazine for Filipinos in New York.
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