Finalists: CHAI, Kontextlab, L-Pub, Therapio, Write Reader / Second year of CONTENTshift accelerator underway / Three-month coaching and mentoring programme for five select startups / “Content Startup of the Year” will receive €10,000 grant
The book industry has once again launched a summer of new ideas: For the second year in a row, the Börsenvereinsgruppe (German Publishers and Booksellers Association Group) is searching for the “Content Startup of the Year” as part of its annual ‘CONTENTshift’ international grant programme. This year’s jury has already selected five startups for the final round, three of which are from Germany, one from Denmark and one from France. The final five founders will now undergo a three-month coaching programme in which they will be able to develop their business ideas further. The winning startup will be chosen and announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2017.
The following five startups will compete to become the “2017 Content Startup of the Year”:
• CHAI (France): Continue listening to books as audio data with the help of a mobile app
• Kontextlab (Germany): Interactive knowledge cards that allow for the simple and playful access to complex themes
• L-Pub (Germany): Enhanced e-Books containing additional, context-specific information and learning tools
• Therapio (Germany): App for therapists designed to digitally accompany their patients by means of personalised training (exercise) videos and training plans
• Write Reader (Denmark): Children create, share and publish their own books in a playful manner that helps them learn how to read and write
“It’s impressive to see the versatility and creativity of young companies working to shape the future of content creation and consumption. Indeed, we received a very broad range of submissions. Our five finalists offer exciting and promising ideas for both specialty and consumer media markets. We’re looking forward to working with the founders to further develop their business models in the coming months”, said jury spokeswoman Dr. Bettina Hansen, Deputy Publishing Director at Georg Thieme Verlag.
“Our goal with CONTENTshift is to foster innovations for the industry. Last year, the programme succeeded in initiating a number of sustainable contacts between startups and industry companies. We’re delighted that so many startups with promising ideas applied once again this year. When publishers and bookshops collaborate with startups at eye-level, they generate invaluable impulses for the digital evolution of the industry”, argued Alexander Skipis, Managing Director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association) and spokesperson for the Börsenvereinsgruppe.
A total of 36 startups applied for the programme, one-third of which are from abroad. In the first phase, the jury came together with CONTENTshift’s expert advisors, Dr. Harald Henzler and Prof. Dr. Okke Schlüter, to select ten startups from out of the various submissions. These ten were then invited to present their ideas to the jury at a pitch event last week in Frankfurt am Main. In the coming three months, the five finalists will undergo comprehensive coaching sessions and gain access to a network of book-industry specialists and business incubator experts. In September, the five companies will take part in a four-day ‘Workshop Weekend’. The final CONTENTshift event will take place on 12 October 2017 in the Arts+ area at the Frankfurt Book Fair. All five startups will pitch their ideas, followed by the award ceremony. The winner will receive €10,000.