The German startup QualiFiction was named "Content Startup of the Year" at the Frankfurt Book Fair today. QualiFiction uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse the content, style and marketability of texts. In so doing, it makes it possible for publishers and authors to automate the way they classify fictional texts, enhance metadata and predict a book’s sales potential.
The jury of the CONTENTshift accelerator, which is a funding programme set up by the Börsenvereinsgruppe, selected the Startup of the Year from among five candidates that had made it to the final round. A total of 36 startups from seven countries originally applied to participate in CONTENTshift. QualiFiction will take home a €10,000 incentive bonus.
Jury spokesman Hermann Eckel, managing director von Tolino Media and co-spokesperson for the Börsenverein’s digital interest group IG Digital, explained the jury’s decision: “QualiFiction convinced us on all fronts. The startup addresses a major challenge facing all publishers: How can I find books that fit my product range amid the flood of available manuscripts? And how can I improve the visibility of my titles in the online market? QualiFiction provides assistance in the pre-selection phase as well as with targeted marketing, helping publishers work more efficiently, reduce costs and better calculate expenses. At the same time, QualiFiction is also aimed at authors who can have their texts analysed and thereby receive valuable information on how to optimise their manuscripts. As a jury, we are thrilled with the resolve of the QualiFiction team to drive forward an innovative solution for the entire industry with a clear vision and perseverance”.
Among the other startups on the shortlist in addition to the winners were the following: EasyCorrect (Denmark, digital correction and feedback tool for teachers and students), Jellybooks (England, digital reading samples with integrated reader analytics), Mitmalfilm(Germany, analogue colouring templates allow kids to create digital animation films), Varia (Germany, enables readers to overcome filter bubbles by providing quality news from different perspectives).
CONTENTshift will enter its fifth year in 2020, and companies are already invited to get involved as investors in next year’s competition. By investing in the programme, companies receive a spot on the jury as well as direct and exclusive access to all participating startups.
In 2019, the CONTENTshift jury comprised the following members in addition to Hermann Eckel: Detlef Büttner (board member, Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Lehmanns Media), Per Dalheimer (Hugendubel Digital), Daniel Ebneter (S. Karger AG), Bernd Fakesch (Nintendo), Leif Göritz (Thalia), Nina Hugendubel (Hugendubel), Ronald Schild (MVB), Marc Schindelholz (Karger), Andrea Soprek (Ravensburger Buchverlag) and Dominik Strähle (Thalia).
In the course of this year’s CONTENTshift programme and competition, the following experts acted as mentors to the startups: Daniel Ebneter and Marc Schindelholz mentored EasyCorrect and Hermann Eckel mentored QualiFiction. Nina Hugendubel and Per Dalheimer mentored mitmalfilm. Ronald Schild mentored Jellybooks and Detlef Büttner mentored Varia.
Prof. Dr. Okke Schlüter and Dr. Harald Henzler also accompanied CONTENTshift and contributed to the programme as startup coaches.