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Book industry sponsorship programme for start-ups: The finalists of the CONTENTshift-Accelerator have been chosen

Initiative of the Börsenverein Group for international and cross-industry exchange / Five finalists will be given coaching and the chance to make valuable contacts / Content Start-up of the year to be announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Erstellt am 24.06.2021


Five German start-ups with fresh ideas for the book and media industry have reached the final round of the CONTENTshift Accelerator 2021 sponsorship programme. They came out on top against international competitors and have the chance to win funding of 10,000 euros and the title of "Content Start-up of the Year". Over the next three months, they will participate in the programme, where they will receive individual coaching and exclusive access to an international network of investors as well as start-up and industry experts.

Following the digital preliminary round with ten selected enterprises, the CONTENTshift jury has now selected these five start-ups for the final round:

BotTalk: This text-to-speech software converts any text into an audio format at the touch of a button. This is not only inclusive for people with visual or reading impairments, but is also perfect for those who are frequently on the move but want to remain up-to-date or be entertained while doing everyday activities such as cooking. For publishers, the software means a huge cost saving compared to using professional speakers. 

Buuk: Founded in 2020, the start-up helps publishers and authors, who lack know-how, technical understanding or sufficient time, to better present their books digitally and improve their findability on the web. In addition to entering metadata, it is also possible to monitor the development of the assortment in real time via the app for the purpose of market analysis. In addition, self-publishers have the opportunity to publish their books in three simple steps. 

DayOff: The goal of this start-up is to train soft skills in a web-based format and via microlearning. DayOff is the brainchild of Corin Freyer and Lino Toran. It enables people to set themselves small challenges in order to further their skills while staying on the ball in the long term. DayOff works collectively and offers incentives: different teams can collect points by completing challenges and exchange them for holiday days, for example.

READ-O: This Frankfurt-based app enables readers to filter through the vast number of new publications to find books that suit their preferences. The AI-supported search engine analyses millions of reviews, and books are matched on the basis of self-selected categories and tags - similar to a dating app. In the long term, the plan is to establish READ-O as a social media platform.

talking hands: These flipbooks have a very special feature: thanks to their illustrations, sign language can be learned in a playful way. The founders Laura Mohn and Maria Möller were inspired by Mohn's sister, who has Down Syndrome. The flipbooks not only promote integration and inclusion, but also motor skills and communication. This makes them suitable for children with or without disabilities  

Jury spokesperson Olaf Carstens (Cornelsen Publishing House) said: "We are always absolutely thrilled by the broad spectrum of innovation that the CONTENTshift Accelerator uncovers. This year's top five start-ups naturally include digital offerings that, for example, use artificial intelligence to make everyday life easier for the industry and for readers. However, we were also impressed by a print idea, the flip book for sign language, as it makes an important contribution to inclusion in Germany.“

"We are dealing with individuals here who are courageously breaking new ground. Their ideas highlight new perspectives for our industry and encourage us to also try unconventional approaches. We are committed to playing our part in ensuring that these endeavours are duly rewarded with success and recognition. In the coming weeks, we will intensively support the finalists with our networks and our know-how so that they can successfully establish their start-ups on the market," says Carstens.

The Accelerator programme is sponsored by companies from the book and media industry, which send members to the CONTENTshift jury. This year's panel includes: Olaf Carstens (Cornelsen Publishing House) Detlef Büttner (Lehmanns Media Specialist Bookstore), Dr. Leif Göritz (Thalia Bookstore), Dr. Stephan Dietrich (Junfermann Publishing House), Sabine Haag (Wiley-VCH Publishing House), Ronald Schild (MVB), Karin Schmidt-Friderichs (Börsenverein) as well as Deepa Gautam-Nigge (SAP Next-Gen Innovation Network) as a partner of the programme from outside the industry.

The CONTENTshift Accelerator, along with the CONTENTshift startup club, is part of the Börsenverein Group's CONTENTshift initiative, which promotes innovation and new business models in the book and media industry.

Website with details of the longlist, shortlist and the competition process: www.contentshift.de

Social Media:
Facebook: @Contentshift
Instagram: @Contentshift
Twitter: @ShiftingContent
Hashtag: #cosh21

About the Börsenverein Group
The Börsenverein group is an advocacy group and central service provider for the German book industry. The group consists of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and its business subsidiaries, the Frankfurt Book Fair, MVB, Mediacampus Frankfurt and the Holding Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Beteiligungsgesellschaft. From interest representation and cultural projects to fair organisation, training and further education, publishing and technology services, the group bundles services and educational opportunities for the book and media industry.

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