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Press release: Seeking startups with creative ideas related to books 01.03.2021

Sponsorship programme brings startups, experts and investors together / The application process for the coaching is now open for startup founders from both Germany and abroad to present their business models 

As in previous years, the CONTENTshift accelerator is once again looking for innovative business models from startups with solutions for the book and content industry – from new technologies related to texts and reading to marketing tools and products that impart content. The internationally oriented sponsorship programme of the Börsenvereinsgruppe (Group of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) brings together founders, experts and investors to jointly promote innovation in all aspects related to books. Participating start-ups can substantiate their business models in workshops and coaching sessions and secure high-ranking decision-makers as investors. The programme ends with the selection of the "Content Startup of the Year", which is awarded funding of 10,000 euro.

The CONTENTshift accelerator is funded by companies in the book industry, which also appoint one expert as an advisory jury member. This year, the programme is being supported by, among others, the specialist book retailer Lehmanns Media, the publishing houses of Cornelsen, Junfermann and Wiley-VCH, as well as the SAP Next-Gen Innovation Network as a partner from outside the industry. 

"Through the accelerator programme of the CONTENTshift initiative, we connect book and content startups directly with the book industry and support them in developing their business models. In this way, they can assist and accompany the book industry with their ideas during an exciting transformation process. We are looking forward to seeing their approaches to, for example, processing data, simplifying collaborations and generating enthusiasm for books, both today and in the future”, said Stefanie Perk, Head of Strategy and Innovation at the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. 

“Participating in the CONTENTshift accelerator has helped our company take a giant step forward," says Gesa Schöning, Managing Partner of the 2019 winner QualiFiction. "Due to the close exchange with top players in the industry, we were able to develop our idea further and in a specific way that enabled us to create an offer that was truly relevant for the book industry. In the meantime, the technology and information provider MVB is using our AI to provide the book trade with the new classification standard "Lesemotive" in an automated way via the Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher (VLB) over the next few months. “

Five startups will be selected for the accelerator Programme from all applications received. The application phase ends on 1 May 2021. The selected entrepreneurs will receive comprehensive coaching and advice from experts for several months starting from 1 July. The highlight of the programme will be a co-creation workshop for start-ups and jury members at the beginning of September. The accelerator will culminate at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where all participants will pitch their further developed business ideas. At this event, the jury will then select the "Content Start-up of the Year" and award the prize money.

Further details about the programme and the application process can be found at:

About the Börsenverein Group

The Börsenvereinsgruppe (Group of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) represents the interests of Germany's book industry and provides its members with advisory and practical services. The group comprises the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association) and its business subsidiaries, which include Frankfurter Buchmesse GmbH, MVB GmbH, mediacampus frankfurt as well as the Holding Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Beteiligungsgesellschaft. The Börsenvereinsgruppe supports the book industry and media sector by providing professional services that include advocacy, the organisation of cultural projects, tradeshows, training programmes and publishing and technology services.

Frankfurt am Main, 1 March 2021

Press Contacts: 

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.
Thomas Koch, Head of Press and Public Relations
Phone +49 (0) 69 1306-293, email:
Anna Härle, PR Manager
Phone +49 (0) 69 1306-296, email:  



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