Who will be selected as the 2020 Content Startup of the Year? The CONTENTshift accelerator is once again looking for the best business models being used by startups active in the book and media industries today. CONTENTshift is an international programme carried out by the Börsenvereinsgruppe with the aim of bringing together founders, investors and established industry experts to discuss and advance new ideas. Startups are given the opportunity to have their business models validated while also gaining contacts to high-ranking decision makers. In turn, established industry players profit from direct exchanges with innovative young companies and curated access to fresh new ideas. Startups from all over the world are invited to send in their applications by 4 May 2020.
Alexander Skipis, managing director of the Börsenverein (German Publishers and Booksellers Association) noted the following: “For the past five years, the Börsenvereinsgruppe has been injecting greater dynamism and a broader range of original ideas into the book industry with the help of the CONTENTshift umbrella brand. Indeed, our CONTENTshift accelerator allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of all the latest developments and trends. Each and every one of the startups participating in our programme brings with them a high level of agility and multiple fresh new perspectives on the book market. These young entrepreneurs are driven by the tireless pursuit of innovation and have proven themselves to be ideal partners to our industry. By making the crucial connection between analogue and digital worlds, the solutions they generate have already allowed publishers and booksellers to discover the previously uncharted trans-medial potential to be found in their business segments.”
Established book-industry companies that participate financially in the CONTENTshift accelerator receive a spot on the jury and enter into direct contact with the startups. Among the companies getting involved in the programme this year are the bookstores Hugendubel and Thalia, the specialist bookseller Lehmanns Media, the educational publisher Cornelsen Verlag and John Wiley & Sons. Thanks to the assistance it receives from professional advisors, the Börsenvereinsgruppe is able to guarantee that all participating companies will be able to draw from a pool of promising and highly qualified startups. A number of other European media associations are also supporting the accelerator.
For the five startup candidates that make it to the final round, this year’s programme will begin on 1 July 2020. In the course of the competition, each startup will receive comprehensive coaching sessions and advice from industry experts. Every year, the CONTENTshift jury consists of representatives of both the sponsoring companies and the Börsenvereinsgruppe. The core of the competition is a joint “co-creation workshop” organised for the jury and startups in early September. The final pitches and the naming of the “Content Startup of the Year” will take place this year on 15 October 2020 at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The winning startup will receive €10,000 in funding.