By Ingrid Süßmann
‘Bringing Startups and Industry Players Closer’Earlier this year, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association launched a new startup accelerator for the book and media industry called ContentShift.
This new initiative is meant to “foster innovation in the content industry,” according to its promotional material. Its current round of work began on July 1 and ends at Frankfurt Book Fair in mid-October.
The winning startup in this round’s program is to receive at €10,000 award (USD11,170) and a year’s paid membership in the Börsenverein’s startup program.
An initial pool, of 45 applicants has been winnowed down, first to an 18-company longlist, and now to a shortlist of six.
The final six shortlisted startups took part in an exclusive workshop weekend bringing together startups, jury, and industry coaches in order to validate their business models, finalize their customer journeys, and engage in coaching and mentor sessions.
An winner is to be announced at Frankfurt Book Fair on October 20.
The shortlist comprises:
- Beemgee, which makes software for structuring and visualising narrative content;
- Booktype, an online platform that enables authors to write books together;
- Brainyoo, which makes learning software for mobile access;
- Papego, which allows a reader to switch between print and digital consumption (see our story here);
- Polynaut, the goal of which is to speed access to content with pre-programmed searches; and
- SatoshiPay, an online payment system for digital content.
Alexander Skipis, managing director of the Börsenverein, is quoted in a prepared statement about the shortlist, saying, “Our shortlist showcases the enormous spectrum covered by new companies emerging in the book and content industry.
“Each one is a unique driver of innovation for the entire industry.
“Our members have already shown a keen interest in the featured business models. A passion for innovation and a curiosity for new ideas are now bringing startups and existing industry players closer together.”
In Frankfurt, the shortlisted finalists are to live together in shared housing, working collaboratively together and following a Book Fair program curated especially for them.
The ContentShift program is available to participants throughout the European Union. Jury members are drawn, in part, from industry investors in the project, including StoryDOCKS GmbH; ReadBox GmbH; Thalia Bücher GmbH; Holtzbrinck Digital GmbH; Manz’sche Verlags; Bonnier Media Germany GmbH; and Georg Thieme Verlog KG.
A timeline of events in the project for 2016 is here.
To find out more about this EU-wide start up-accelerator made in Germany and each of the contenders, please visit ContentShift (in English). If you’re interested in the ideas and the heads behind the finalist business models, stop by at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 20th, for the finalist’s pitches and a podium discussion.