Press Release
Frankfurt am Main,

Content Shift accelerator: The 10 best startups with innovative ideas for the book industry

Jury nominates ten startups from four different countries | Pitch to participate in the sponsorship programme on 27.06.2023 | Börsenverein Group provides exclusive networking opportunities and awards funding of 10,000 euro

The jury has reached a decision: Ten outstanding startups will be taking part in the Börsenverein Group's Content Shift accelerator 2023. A total of 44 startups from three continents applied for this year's sponsorship programme, including entrepreneurs from the USA, France, the Netherlands, Romania and the Philippines. The top 10 selection illustrates the scope for AI integration in the industry, breaks new ground for sales models and makes the promotion of reading even more digital.

Here are the nominated startups in alphabetical order:

  • Bookplay combines an innovative loyalty programme with fun gamification: The startup turns classic books into a digital experience, enriches them with numerous learning games and feedback elements, and rewards reading and reading aloud with points that can be redeemed.
  • Factiverse combats the spread of misleading or false content on the web: Their product checks text content and detects distortions. This works via a downloadable web browser extension (Factiversing) or the integration of customisable and powerful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) into the user’s own platform.
  • GoLexic offers a reading development app for children that can be used at home or at school. The app allows children to work independently through 15-minute training sessions to practice different skills that help improve their reading and spelling.
  • headwAI have developed a "knowledge access point" for specialist literature. The result: reliable information from comprehensive sources, individually prepared. Thanks to AI, numerous intelligent functionalities (e.g. summaries, references, follow-up questions, contradiction detection, etc.) have been integrated.
  • LeReTo offers a bookscreener – i.e. an interactive, multi-disciplinary research and reference book tool that provides access to publishers' entire stock of reference books. With many interactive elements, it is designed to make researching specialised knowledge much more enjoyable.
  • Lit-X makes literature publication success transparent and predictable on the basis of literature data. For this purpose, the startup offers dashboards and applications such as "trend scouting" or "pricing". For example, publishers can dissect the success drivers of a genre in detail, compare them with each other and calculate different probabilities of success by modifying individual factors.
  • Maple Tales have developed interactive decision-making stories where children can decide between two and three options every three to five minutes, thus influencing the course of the story. In addition, there are many gamification factors, such as increased personalisation, reading aids like hyphenation and a dictionary function, as well as AI-based reading feedback. Book trailers are also part of the platform's services.
  • SUMM AI describes itself as "Google Translate for Easy Language": The AI-based tool automatically translates any complicated text into the "Easy Language" style as defined by the accessibility field - i.e. it makes texts understandable and accessible for everyone by using short sentences, an easy choice of words and additional explanations.
  • thea offers "to-teach ", a platform that uses AI to enable education providers to digitise and enrich analogue content at the touch of a button, create digital content and then distribute it to their target group. The platform supports the creation of exercises, entire worksheets and other teaching materials - including text, audio and gamification.
  • XigXag have developed an app that combines a listening and reading concept with an associated social platform. Here, listeners can switch between listening and reading without needing to pay twice. They also get access to features such as note taking, sharing quotes, looking up words and viewing illustrations, as well as the ability to find a community of other listeners to interact with.

The process

On 27.06.2023, all ten startups will present their business ideas at a pitch event in Frankfurt. The jury will then select five of them for this year's sponsorship programme. In the following months, the founders of these companies will gain access to a top-class network of investors as well as startup and industry experts from the book and media industry. They will undergo coaching sessions and a co-creation workshop to validate their business models and explore current challenges and cooperation opportunities. On 19 October at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the jury will select the "Content Startup of the Year", which will be awarded 10,000 euros in funding.

The jury

The Accelerator programme is sponsored by companies from the book and media industry, which send members to the CONTENTshift jury. This year’s jury is composed of: Martina Fiddrich (Cornelsen Publishing House), Nina Hugendubel and Per Dalheimer (Hugendubel Bookstores), Detlef Büttner and Leif Göritz (Lehmanns Media/Thalia Bookstores), Colin Hauer (Hörbuch Hamburg), Wolfgang Pichler (MANZ Publishing House and Bookstores), Jasmin Ahluwalia and Philipp Neie (Schweitzer Fachinformationen), Stefanie Penck (TeNeues Publishing House), Ronald Schild (MVB) as well as Lennart Schneider (independent strategy consultant) as a partner of the programme from outside the industry.

Additional Information

Materials to Download

About Content Shift

Content Shift is an initiative of the Börsenverein Group that focuses on new business models for the German-language book market. In addition to the accelerator, it also includes regular pitch events ("icebreakers") and a newsletter. The initiative was launched to support founders, to network startups with the book industry and to share information about new business models.

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, MVB, 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.

About MVB

Technology and information provider MVB makes books visible. Major platforms, based on international metadata standards, enable publishers and bookstores to promote their products successfully and efficiently in their home markets and abroad. Editorial and advertising formats as well as face-to-face networking give orientation in different book markets. In close cooperation with customers and market players from all areas of the book industry, the teams located in Frankfurt am Main, London, Mexico City, New York, and São Paulo continuously work on innovative Infrastructure solutions for the book trade of the future.