Germany’s ContentShift Accelerator Names Its Five 2024 Finalists

In News by Porter Anderson

One of the five finalist start-ups in Germany’s ContentShift Accelerator program will receive a €10,000 grant at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Image – Getty iStockphoto: Jacob Wackerhausen

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

‘Creativity and Diversity of Ideas’
As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, our June 5 report carried news of  the Börsenverein des Deutschen BuchhandelsContentShift Accelerator having selected its top nominees.

Today (June 21), the program is reporting the five finalists for the program, each now in contention for the top honor of a €10,000 grant (US$10,690).

Organizers say that 36 start-ups applied, with 13 of those coming from international markets, including European countries, South Africa, and Rwanda. From that initial pool of entries, the program’s jury has chosen five companies as finalists—the result of a pitching event on Wednesday (June 19) in Frankfurt for the five finalists’ spots available in the coaching and mentoring offerings of the program.

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 have had the opportunity to develop their business models in workshops and coaching sessions with professionals in various business disciplines. The program’s jury now will provide the finalist 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$10,864) for use with the winning company.

ContentShift 2024 Finalists

Equalizent links digital versions of books with its own database, which contains explanations and translations of German words in German sign language. Every word with a sign-language explanation is linked to a video in the database.

Gamebook Interactive Books Platform is a platform for the production, appraisal, and promotion of new and existing brands in an interactive book format. It facilitates monetization, AI translation, daily updates, and marketing with “playables” and data analysis.

Kompreno offers more than 10,000 translated texts from national newspapers, special-interest magazines, and journalism projects covering a wide range of themes from 14 European countries, available on the Internet or in an app.

MyBookNet Pro is building a network of self-publishing platforms for ebooks in several languages. The initiative consists of a standardized service for authors that enables them to publish their work and distribute it worldwide with the help of AI translations.

Qeludra offers a tool for  data analysis by drawing on Ludra, a software that uses generative AI to give researchers the ability to call up the information they need in a conversational format.

The accelerator program is supported by companies in the book sector and media industry, with each company sending a representative to serve on the ContentShift jury. In 2024, the jury comprises:

  • Martina Fiddrich and Olaf Carstens (Cornelsen Verlag)
  • Carla Scheunemann and Jonas Konrad (Community Editions/Bastei Lübbe)
  • Alexander Woge (KNK Customer Engagement)
  • Stefanie Penck (TeNeues Verlag)
  • Nina Hugendubel and Per Dalheimer (Buchhandlung Hugendubel)
  • Leif Göritz and Detlef Büttner (Lehmanns Media/Buchhandlung Thalia)
  • Philipp Lindinger (Herder Verlag), Ronald Schild (MVB)
  • Lennart Schneider, an independent advisor and partner to the program

Carla Scheunemann

Scheunemann, in a comment about the finalists’ group is quoted, saying, “Our five finalists are developing innovative approaches to forward-looking themes in the book industry, including barrier-free accessibility; qualitative data analysis; translations; and self-publishing.

“My fellow jury members and I were particularly impressed by the creativity and diversity of ideas these startups are bringing to the table, for example by using artificial intelligence to generate the greatest possible benefit for the industry.

“We’re looking forward to engaging in an intensive exchange with our fantastic top-5 startups in September.”

The accelerator is also accompanied by Harald Henzler (International University SDI München) and Okke Schlüter (Hochschule der Medien/University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart) in an advisory capacity.

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 here

Publishing 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 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.