The Börsenvereinsgruppe (Group of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) is gearing up for the July 1st launch of CONTENTshift, its new three-month, EU-wide programme designed to foster startups in the book and media industry. The accelerator brings together investors, founders and industry experts to discuss and refine new business models. Founders are given access to a network of high-ranking decision makers, while established industry players benefit from direct contact to startups and strategic involvement in new ideas. The CONTENTshift application period for startups from Germany and the EU begins on April 25th 2016.
"The future of the book industry depends on our ability to develop and implement new business models and market strategies. And we know that innovation thrives on lively exchange and fresh approaches, which is why CONTENTshift wants to build bridges between founders, investors and established industry players. This programme shows how eager we are to foster promising ideas and make use of all available synergies in the digital sphere", noted Detlef Büttner, Börsenverein Board Member, Managing Director of Lehmanns Media GmbH and CONTENTshift jury member.
Five Börsenverein member companies will invest €10,000 each in CONTENTshift. In return, they will receive a spot on the jury as well as direct contact to the startups in competition for the final prize. The companies supporting the programme in 2016 are Bonnier Deutschland, Holtzbrinck Digital, Thalia, Thieme Gruppe and StoryDocks. The Börsenvereinsgruppe will also have professional advisors on hand to ensure that participating companies are able to draw from a pool of qualified startups. The CONTENTshift organisers were also able to attract European media associations to get involved as partners.
Throughout the competition, startups will receive wide-ranging coaching services and advice from experts. The second and third evaluation rounds will focus on the solving of tailored tasks drawn from everyday industry challenges. The jury comprises the five sponsoring companies, three book-industry representatives and two external experts. Investors will also be offered coaching sessions upon request. The centrepiece of CONTENTshift will be a workshop weekend involving both jury and startups in September. The final pitches and the award ceremony honouring the best startup will take place at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2016. The winning startup will receive €10,000 in funding.