READ-O's Success Story: After their participation in the CONTENTshift Accelerator 2021, which they also won, READ-O achieved increasing notoriety. The startup was not only reported in the book industry media (e.g. in "Börsenblatt" and "Verlage der Zukunft"), but also in startup media. A year later, they were able to take part in "Höhle der Löwen", the German version of "Shark Tank". There they inspired Carsten Maschmeyer for an investment – but the deal fell through. In the meantime, the startup was able to gain a foothold in the book industry: The CONTENTshift accelerator resulted in a cooperation between READ-O and the technology and information provider MVB, whose CEO Ronald Schild was and is part of the CONTENTshift jury, and bpm consult ag. They jointly launched a recommendation algorithm for bookshops in 2022 to improve their product range, on-site customer advice and the user experience in the online shop. The new automated book suggestions based on artificial intelligence (AI) are integrated by the Swiss software company into its ERP and e-commerce applications. The recommendations that the algorithm outputs for each title are based on the emotion data from READ-O as well as the Reading Rationales information and other parameters, for example the characteristics of the subject classification, from MVB's VLB (Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher, translated: directory of deliverable books). This software is available to all bpm's bookselling and publishing customers – the pilot customers include Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus and the bookshops Reuffel in Germany, Morawa in Austria and Lüthy Balmer Stocker in Switzerland.
My startup in a nutshell: READ-O is an AI-powered search engine for books that analyses millions of written book reviews.
Jonathan Mondorf (Product development), Ben Kohz (Marketing, Sales), Simon Farshid (Backend development), Michael Pomogajko (Frontend development), Andreas Weiser (Data Science)
Our founding history:
Jonathan's father is a passionate writer. So he got to know how difficult it is to find readers for new authors. That's when the journey began for us, with the goal of connecting people with stories made for each other. Along the way, Jonathan picked us up one by one and now we are a colourful team dedicated to the idea of inspiring people with stories that match their mood.
This is how our business idea transforms the content industry:
How do readers find the right novel among the thousands of new publications? If readers could easily find suitable books, wouldn't they read (and buy) a lot more? With READ-O, we are making the book market more transparent, the book search more interactive and book recommendations more personalised.
The music industry shows that charts are not the measure of all things, but the individual suggestions that are recommended to you according to your own musical taste. With READ-O, we want to achieve this degree of personalisation in the book industry and thus bring every book to the right audience.
CONTENTshift has long been a milestone for us as a literature start-up. This competition offers the chance for us to introduce ourselves to the book industry. The prominence of the competition is unique! That's why we're looking forward to sharing our ideas with the industry and getting to know potential cooperation partners and investors. In the next step, we look forward to working with our CONTENTshift mentor Detlef Büttner and our coaches Harald Henzler and Okke Schlüter. Jonathan Mondorf