Germany’s Börsenverein Is Taking 2024 ContentShift Applications

In News by Porter Anderson

The Börsenverein’s ContentShift accelerator program for publishing-related start-ups is taking applications in its ninth year.

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

Deadline for Applications: May 1
The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association, is accepting applications from start-ups working in fields relative to the book business for its 2024 edition of the ContentShift competition and business accelerator.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, ContentShift is an international competition, accepting the interest of start-up founders both from Germany and from abroad. This is its ninth year of operation, and the program’s terminology for what it’s looking for is “start-ups from all over the world who are driving the world of books forward with their innovations, whether analogue or digital.

“These include, for example, tools for optimized content creation, new AI-based applications that save time in client management, as well as analogue products.”

The intent of the Börsenverein’s ContentShift Accelerator program is “to facilitate the entry of start-up founders into the book industry.”

Participating start-ups will have the opportunity to develop their business models in workshops and coaching sessions with professionals in various business disciplines. The program’s jury provides the start-ups with advice, support, and contacts during a three-week workshop period in September.

During Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20), the jury’s selection of a “Content Start-Up of the Year” will be announced and given €10,000 (US$10,835) for use with the winning company.

Professional Participants in the 2024 ContentShift Jury

This year’s jury members comprise:

  • Martina Fiddrich and Olaf Carstens (Cornelsen Publishing House)
  • Carla Scheunemann and Jonas Konrad (Community Editions/Bastei Lübbe)
  • Alexander Woge (KNK Customer Engagement)
  • Stefanie Penck (TeNeues Publishing House)
  • Nina Hugendubel and Per Dalheimer (Hugendubel Bookstores)
  • Leif Göritz and Detlef Büttner (Lehmanns Media/Thalia Bookstores)
  • Philipp Lindinger (Herder Publishing House)
  • Ronald Schild (MVB)
  • Lennart Schneider (independent strategy consultant) will serve as a partner of the program from outside the industry

The program is supported by Harald Henzler for International University SDI Munich and Okke Schlüter of Stuttgart Media University in an advisory capacity.

Last Year’s Winner: GoLexic

Samantha Merlivat was voted the winning start-up founder in last  year’s round of the program, with a reading promotion app for dyslexia called GoLexic.

In descriptive text, it was said that GoLexic “offers a children’s reading promotional app that can be used at home or at school. The app allows children to work independently through 15-minute training sessions, working on skills that help improve reading and spelling.”

Samantha Merlivat

In talking about her experience of the accelerator, Merlivat said, “During the ContentShift accelerator program, I gained a lot of new insights into the book industry.

“I was able to bounce ideas around with the very people I want to work with in the future.

“There was a lot of mutual support between the start-ups and new friendships were forged. The jury members and coaches were also very helpful. I really appreciated everyone’s dedication and commitment.”

Process for Application, Selection

Following the May 1 deadline for applications, the jury will select the 10 best applications. After an initial pitch event, five of these startups will move on to the coaching phase.

The jury then decides who will become “Content Start-Up of the Year 2024” after a public pitch round of the top five at Frankfurt Book Fair.

During the process, participating start-ups are expected to benefit from increased publicity through intensive press and public relations work by the Börsenverein Group.

Information and application instructions are available in German and English at this site.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the ContentShift program is here. More from us on the German market is here, and more on international book and publishing competitions and awards is herePublishing Perspectives is a project of Frankfurter Buchmesse, operated through MVB US, Inc.

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.