Germany’s ContentShift Opens Its 2023 Call for Start-Ups

In News by Porter Anderson

The eighth international ContentShift accelerator program for book publishing startups opens its applications period for this year.

Image: Getty iStockphoto: Boggy22

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Deadline for Applications: May 8
Our Publishing Perspectives readers are very familiar with the ContentShift accelerator, now in its eighth year from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association.

With a goal of identifying and supporting promising startups working in spaces relative to books and media, the program is meant as a means of identifying innovative digital or analog business models to promote them in the book industry.

Startups from outside Germany are welcome in this international program, and they might include, as examples, “tools for optimized content creation, new “AI”-based applications that save time for customer management, as well as products that can be used in analog form.”

To review the program’s process, there are two main benefits for participating startups.

First, the winning startup this year receives funding of €10,000 euros (US$10,650). Second, all participants have exclusive access to members of the program’s jury, which comprises decision-makers from the book industry. Jurors provide the startups with advice, support, and contacts during three intensive workshop days in September.

This year, the jury includes:

  • Martina Fiddrich (Cornelsen Publishing House)
  • Nina Hugendubel and Per Dalheimer (Hugendubel Bookstores)
  • Detlef Büttner and Leif Göritz (Lehmanns Media/Thalia Bookstores)
  • Colin Hauer (Hörbuch Hamburg)
  • Wolfgang Pichler (MANZ Publishing House and Bookstores)
  • Jasmin Ahluwalia and Philipp Neie (Schweitzer Fachinformationen)
  • Stefanie Penck (TeNeues Publishing House)
  • Ronald Schild (MVB)
  • Lennart Schneider (an independent strategy consultant serving as a partner of the program from outside the industry)
‘Top of the Book Industry Value Chain’

The 2022 ContentShift was won by the Netherlands’ Immer app—the Renew the Book innovation award program winner, as well.

In a prepared statement, Niels ‘t Hooft of the Immer app, is quoted saying, “What I particularly liked about the ContentShift accelerator is that the jury members are all at the top of the book industry value chain.

“It’s not just young employees who would like to talk to a few startups, but it’s really the CEOs and other high-level people who know their stuff and were able to provide us with good implementable feedback. That was very valuable for us.”

The ContentShift application phase is now open and runs until 8 May 2023.

The jury will select ten applications, and after an initial pitch event, five of these startups will move on to the coaching phase. The jury then will decide who is to become “Startup of the Year 2023,” after a public pitch round of the top five at Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22). 

Throughout the process, the participating startups will benefit from increased publicity through intensive press and public relations work by the Börsenverein Group. 

More information for the application process is here.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the ContentShift program is here. More from us on the German market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.