iMMovator starts ‘MediaMatters’ accelerator programme for media-related start-ups

New innovation boost at the Media Park
In 2016 iMMovator will be starting a beta version of an accelerator programme for media-related start-ups. The aim of the ‘MediaMatters’ programme is to enable start-ups that are in the second phase of their development (the ‘scale-ups’) to accelerate with the help of the media organizations, service providers and knowledge institutions. The focus of the accelerator lies at the interface of Media and ICT, and is geared to the question of how and where media content is most relevant for the user in terms of content, moment and platform.

Start-ups: key innovation link

Based on the notion that start-ups are key contributors to innovation in the media in both the first and second phase, iMMovator organised a start-up competition in 2015 together with Media Park Beheer and the Institute for Sound and Vision, among others. This helped produce a number of start-ups that set up shop in and around the Media Park in Hilversum. In 2016 the parties want to extend this to a fully-fledged accelerator programme that forms the link between existing media companies and scale-ups. These scale-ups will gain access to national and international media players, capital and the network while, in their turn, the existing companies will gain access toalent, ideas and new technologies and services. Both scale-ups and existing companies will be better able to grow because the accelerator will remove any problematic issues by making the right connections. Moreover, local and regional business will get a major boost.

The media accelerator thereby targets the urgent problem confronting publishers, broadcasters and other content providers: How can you get media content there to the user where it is most relevant to him in terms of content, moment and platform, and how can it earn you money? One could think of new advertising models, new (journalism, video) formats, new distribution models and such like.

Pilot in 2016, mature in 2017

In 2016 the programme will have the character of a pilot in order to study how the programme can offer most added value for the scale-ups and media companies. The business model, type of organisation and form of funding will also be studied. If the results of the pilot are positive, a fully-fledged programme will begin in 2017. The pilot is being co-funded by the Dutch Journalism Fund.

The project is being led by Rick van Dijk, project leader at iMMovator Cross Media Network and, until recently, operational director of the Dutch Journalism. As project leader he began setting up the accelerator programme on 4 January. “I enjoyed working at the Journalism Fund for the past few years but I felt the time was ripe to take on a new challenge, as it was then, to develop more knowledge and skills. This new challenge I found in Hilversum at iMMovator and, more specifically, in the accelerator programme. In my years at the Fund I had a lot to do with innovation and start-ups, and now I get the opportunity to continue developing the knowledge I gained at the Media Park in Hilversum. Working with young, enthusiastic people is simply very inspiring and if I can just contribute a little to their success, then that will give me a lot of satisfaction.