|3 Key Learnings from running a Batch semi-remote|
At the next media accelerator we strongly believe in the power of innovation: This was once again tested this year. We needed to shift the entire program and our batch of nine European startups into remote mode. Here is what we learned.
1.) Clear communication is key.
When each team member is working from a different location (or city, or country…) it can be quite tricky to keep in touch. Since the adoption of the remote work mode, we have made communication a priority. We’ve implemented video calls three times a week as part of the routine to collect updates from the NMA team. With the current batch we had people staying home in Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Finland and Lithuania, so we made sure to meet for a virtual lunch break to catch up on the latest updates and personal / professional developments with our startups too. We even found a nice tool to have icebreakers and make the meetings more interesting. Moreover, we offered a weekly 3-hour office hour slot where the startup founders could book meetings with the NMA team.
2.) Events – make it virtual, baby!
Moving events to the online sphere: Which platform? Which format?
The second challenge we faced when shifting the program online: what about the events? Partially, it was not on us to decide on the proceeding – big events such as the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR), SXSW, roadshows to Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart as well as numerous other industry events got canceled or shifted into a different (virtual) format.
For every event you need to think of 1) the goal and 2) the audience, to then find out what is the best format and platform to go for.
We found out that networking can happen easily online with a nice matchmaking tool (Deal Room Events) that we used for our Virtual Media Match. Also, we wanted to stick together in the industry and partnered once again with our friends from OMR for a Digital Master Class.
We have also hosted meetings between the startups and our partners from leading media houses in Germany – and we are proud to have used Sceenic (from our portfolio) for that – they provide an Interactive Online Events Solution.
3.) The importance of keeping rituals.
The Demo Day usually marks the successful “graduation” of our batch: when they showcase results of travels and meetings in the past months, expanding their Easy Testing and client network.
For that, they take the big stage at KNUST Hamburg to celebrate the achievements of the startups. Investors, corporates, entrepreneurs, mentors, friends, family gather to watch, followed by a nice party.
Everything was neatly set out but then…Corona was like “Hold my beer!”
On a more sincere note: We know many experienced an extremely tough time.
Due to the covid19 crisis which turned the world we know upside down, we had to adapt to the new reality and pace of the media industry. Even with less events and no trips, we found it important to mark the end of these six months with a virtual celebration with our community. Watch the pitches of our Virtual Demo Day.
Our teams pulled of some stunning graduation pitches: faktual, VibeVision, monfluence, Hashtag Daily, Moderne, yieldPass, Followistic, Spaii Labs, Klipworks as well as the Interview with Anita Zielina Director Strategic Initiatives of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism CUNY.
All in all: Times were trying and still are – we at the NMA as well as our teams learned a lot, tested, improved and innovated in the circumstances given. We are very proud that our batch 10 teams took on the challenge and pushed even more – their hard work paid off and we are happy to now have them be part of our NMA alumni family.
This week we held our first #DMC2020 developed by our friends at OMR (Online Marketing Rockstars) to address a successful way for startups to grow in the media startup ecosystem in Hamburg and to introduce its keyplayers.
For the Digital Master Class “From idea to successful product: Media Startups take the fast lane” – we joined forces with the dpa (the German Press Agency) and nextMedia.Hamburg (regional initiative for media innovation and digitization in Hamburg). Hundreds of attendees were able to see media innovators in action and find out more about how founders can accelerate their business.Early-stage idea to easy testing products and finally landing partners within the media industry.
During the Master Class the nine teams of our current batch 10 had the opportunity to present themselves in quick one minute pitches – Anna-Juliana Jaenner, founder and showrunner of Germany’s first IGTV and TikTok Soap Opera, HashtagDaily was excited and very happy about the experience.
A new and exciting format to take it virtual.Thanks to OMR and our partners dpa and next.MediaHamburg for taking the ride with us.
We are already very much looking forward to the physical edition of the Online Marketing Rockstars: See you at our OMR booth in 2021! (Save the Date for May 4th to 5th).
The Corona pandemic moves all of us. Over the past few months, many of us have had to deal with new, perhaps unknown emotions – most of them were negative. But the appearance of exceptional emotions offers opportunities, especially for companies that are able to measure why those emotions appear.
Some of the diverse, yet unknown effects of the pandemic didn’t even have names before – like “Zoom fatigue” what you may experience when the sheer number of video calls just overwhelms you. Even if the situation in many regions of the world is now easing, people’s concerns in the Corona crisis are still measurable.
The reasons are obvious: Constant insecurity, social distancing and home office stress have an effect on our emotions. Those, in turn, are highly affecting our decisions – which media content do I consume? What products will I buy? Will I stay with my company?
“To survive and maybe even succeed in the future, businesses need to retain the loyalty of their employees and customers”, wrote Social Scientist Julia Flovén, CEO of VibeVision, in a recent article on the startup’s corporate blog.
The NMA portfolio startup VibeVision helps companies to understand the emotions of their customers and employees. Due to their scientific-bases surveys, VibeVision is able to measure and analyze emotions and provide recommendations about how to act on it.
With a three months lasting weekly survey, VibeVision examined the emotional profiles of the NMA staff and the founders of our current batch 10. Every Monday and Friday they were asked to give a brief insight into their emotions.
The results are pretty soothing: “Altogether emotions were positive! Both startups and organizers had mostly positive emotions.” Still, the pandemic is visible in the responses: “At the beginning of the Corona crisis, the emotions changed clearly from positive to negative.” Gladly, most of our startups have a great experience with remote work. They even shared a lot of inspiring survival tips in our current interview series.
The survey underlines the approach of VibeVision: “Analyzing ‘satisfaction’ is not enough. If we want to have a better understanding, we should take a deeper look at the whole spectrum of emotions and especially at the reasons behind the emotions.” That’s exactly what distinguishes the scientific-based surveys of VibeVision from others.
“Having such data available allows us to provide a better experience for founders throughout our program”, says Julia Mandil, Program Manager at NMA. “Knowing the causes behind positive and negative emotions enables us to shape the activities according to their reaction. It gives us guidance to questions such as: what kind of support can we provide? Are we providing the right amount of activities?”
Knowing about emotions and the reasons behind them, help us at NMA to improve our program, our grown structures and to understand the needs, worries and expectations of our crew and startups during these unsteady, unusual times.
And it reminds us to ask each other regularly: “How are you?”
VibeVision is a Finnish company based in Helsinki and one of the startups of our current batch 10. This time we met Ana-Maaria Sandmair, the COO of the company, on the virtual stage. As a scientist, she knows a lot about emotions. Still, she is curious to find out how understanding emotions can boost businesses – with the help of VibeVision of course.
The last couple of months have been tough for companies around the globe. How can your startup give a helping hand?
Anu-Maaria: It was not only tough for the companies but especially for the people. VibeVision helps companies to better understand them by measuring and analyzing their emotions. And the current situation causes a lot of emotions, it has been pretty intense for all of us lately.
What’s your number one survival tip for hard times like these?
Anu-Maaria: It’s very important to work with nice people. I think that’s the key to success, to have a bunch of nice people you enjoy to work with.
Why is it important for businesses to know about how people feel?
Anu-Maaria: Humans are not really analytical animals. At least when it comes to the decision-making process, our brain is strongly affected by emotions. People will more likely use a product or a service if they feel good.
This year everything is different: The popular OMR20 festival created by the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) could not take place offline and now moved to the virtual space – at least partially. More than 60 digital OMR Masterclasses centered around various topics of the Online Marketing orbit take place from June 17th to 18th.
Save your spot on June 17th, 3 – 4 pm and dive into Hamburg’s thriving startup ecosystem.
The best part: You can join for free!
In the Master Class you will get to know the different key players of the ecosystem, follow the path of the startup BotTalk and get to e-meet nine innovative media tech startups. No matter if you are a founder, want to become one, just curious about media innovation or if you are a media professional – don’t miss out!
There are three stages for media innovators in Hamburg: the first one is the incubation phase where creative minds come up with an idea and apply at the Media Lift Inkubator. If that idea has matured into a product they are able to join the next media accelerator. If the product proves to run smoothly they can start partnering with Media Houses and agencies from all over Germany amongst which the dpa is included as well.
With a seamless transition from stage to stage Dr. Andrey Eusalov (aka. #posterboy ;)), founder of the text-to-speech startup BotTalk serves as our prime example. He started out with just an idea when he joined the Media Lift Inkubator in 2019. The latter gained so much momentum that he was able to jump right into the next adventure with the next media accelerator. He completed both programs in parallel while connecting with valuable contacts within the media industry.
Thus, BotTalkwas included in what we call “easy testing” case with the dpa – the media house/agency gets to test the startup’s product and provides valuable feedback. Together they take the product to the next level. The cooperation went well and the NMA and Media Lift graduate BotTalk got included in the new dpa ID service – a new market place that offers easy access to various services.
Last but not least, you will get to connect with the founders of our current batch 10: Faktual, Followistic, KlipWorks, HashtagDaily, Moderne, Monfluence, Spaii Labs, VibeVision and yieldPass. In their 1-minute speed pitches you will get the chance to see what kind of innovations brace the media branche for unsteady waters in the future. Meet them here!
#comebackstronger #digitizationnow #videofirst
Gifs: via Giphy
Ebele Wybenga, Coverstories, Netherlands:
It was a premiere for all of us: instead of having people around at the Media Match lounge as part of the OMR Festival, we brought our successful matchmaking event to the Internet. Without the atmosphere of the event location, but with the convincing energy, enthusiasm and commitment of over 200 participants we made it happen: our first Virtual Media Match.
In challenging times like these, the event was a no-brainer for innovative startups, investors, and media executives from all over Europe. More than 200 professionals came together in over 160 meetings. Thanks to great technology, everything could be done in one place: the sign-up process, the match-making and the video-calls.
Kai Diekmann (Founder of StoryMachine and NMA Global Advisor):
“There is hardly a more efficient way to bring startups and media professionals together. I especially liked the strict 20-minute format. It forces both sides to get to the point quickly. I am sure that soon we will see many more formats like the Virtual Media Match in the media scene.”
Mila Dayan, co-founder of Moderne (Italy):
It was an excellent opportunity for us to connect with relevant people from all over the world. We had matches with investors and potential clients from the USA, Israel, Belgium and Germany – all in one place! 20 minutes per call is a tight schedule, so we prepared well for the matches. It had to be as productive as possible.
Anu-Maaria, co-founder of VibeVision (Finland):
During Media Match I learned that online matchmaking can work. Actually it even saves time and money for traveling. A little anecdote: I had to make the calls in my son’s studying room. So I had to remove the student’s items like socks on the floor and replace them with Mama’s office-items such as green plants. Then we had six meetings with investors, media companies and even a company from the banking sector. We had to reschedule two more meetings, so the Media Match continues for us!
Vanessa Naumann, co-founder of Followistic (Portugal):
The Virtual Media Match was a new experience for us. The main benefit of meeting online is its efficiency: as you have the 20-minute slots you get straight to the point. I prepared a short pitch, including a little product demo so that people can visualize what we do. At one point my Internet connection was a bit slow and the audio didn’t work. However, it’s important to go with the flow and not to get frustrated. We found a solution on the spot: they called me on the telephone while I shared the screen. Staying calm and positive is good because it’s better to remember a nice chat than awkward silence – the same as in a face-to-face conversation.
“Media Match is always a milestone for our program and the NMA team puts a lot of effort to carefully organize the event. Every year we are looking forward to having our international community together: alumni teams, investors, partners, mentors – and new connections, all in one place. Of course, we miss the hectic, crazy days when we were all gathered in the venue during the OMR Festival. And going out to celebrate it afterwards. But I feel super happy to see how smooth the online edition went. I guess we saw the potential of digital networking and we learned a lot about it because of the unusual times we’re living in. At our first Virtual Media Match the most important thing happened: people made valuable connections”, summarizes Julia Mandil, program manager of the next media accelerator. Six successful editions of the event have been held already, three in Hamburg and two in New York City – plus one in the virtual space. And it’s not going to be the last one!
Starting a creative process only with a blank page and a pen is a huge challenge for many creative minds. That’s exactly where Moderne comes in. Mila Dayan and Kyril Kulikov are the founders of Moderne, one startup of our current batch 10. Today they are talking about their approach for improving the work of creative minds – with the help of inspiration, data and a little bit of magic. Meet Moderne:
Moderne has such a vivid and colorful look. But what’s behind all of that?
Mila: Moderne is a digital platform that provides tons of highly tailored creative advertisement ideas, insights, trends and innovation. And it’s also a digital workspace. That means we provide a tool for inspiration and collaboration that is made to be used by creative teams in marketing and advertising agencies.
What makes Moderne a perfect fit for the advertisement industry then?
Mila: It is how it is: in the ad world everything should be done by yesterday. When I worked in advertising we were always short of time. So I started to think a lot about how to improve my skills during work and how to be faster. That’s what our platform would have helped me with.
When did come up with the idea for a product like yours?
Mila: I came up with the idea while I was working as an Art Director for ad agencies like Leo Burnett. I was successful, even won a Cannes Lion Award, and it was a fun job. But I realized that there are a lot of problems in the creative process. Usually you start with was a piece of blank paper and nothing else. You sit on the sofa with your teammates, discuss your ideas briefly and that’s basically it. Those brainstorming sessions can be really messy. As a creative person you don’t want to spend hours on the research for your next campaign. I wanted to enable creative people to skip Google and provide them with examples for their inspiration as well as market and consumer insights according to the team’s creative brief.
Why should creative teams meet Moderne? What makes your team special?
Kyril: Mila has a very relevant background because she knows the pain of creative teams and agencies. For me, I have a lot of experience in building digital products. I used to run my own design agency, so I know how to deal with developers and designers. Our experiences complement each other and that’s a great starting point to build up a startup together.
What do you want to tell people who are interested in using your digital workspace?
Mila: They are happily invited to check out our website and get early access. We will provide them with the pilot version of our product and hope they will enjoy it as we do.
What drives you personally?
Mila: I am inspired by the great work of other people. With Moderne I see the opportunity of a big digital transformation for their creative process. I think it is really amazing and exciting to imagine that every member of a team uses our database for inspiration. Also, it’s just great to be a startup.
Kyril: I built a lot of products for other people but I never tried to do it all by myself. That motivates me a lot. Founding a startup is a great experience for me and I love it.
You are already in an early testing phase. Is there still room for creativity in your work progress?
Mila: We have to be creative in our ways to tell people what Moderne is about. It’s a fresh new product that is not known at all. I think creativity is useful for every challenge you have to face as a startup. You even need to be creative in how to find employees, how to get in touch with people, how to market a campaign, how to research.
Last but not least: what is your message to all the creative minds out there in times like these?
Mila: Everything is super new and there is only one good advice: think differently! Many standard approaches won’t work anymore and time counts. So be creative and work fast! And remember: where data meets creativity, that’s where the magic happens.
We at the NMA believe that connecting people is an important part of driving innovation. This is why on May 13th we will stage a proven event format again, the NMA Media Match. And these days there is only one way to do it: the virtual way. Being part of the Virtual Media Match is a great chance for you to get in touch with those who seek solutions, those who offer innovations, and people who believe in strong connections. People like the following.
Allan Stewart – MediaSense, London (GB)
Allan Stewart joins our Virtual Media Match to look for innovative startups, partnerships, investment and potential M&A. He works as the Platform Director at MediaSense. The London-based media advisors offer tech integrations to the largest blue-chip global brands, representing over 50% of global media spend.
Katharina Iten – Wille Finance AG, Zurich (CH)
Katharina Iten is in charge of the Digital Media portfolio of Willie Finance, an international, Swiss-based multi-family office, focusing on private equity, real estate, digital media and listed assets. She is looking to invest in innovative media ventures with the potential to impact the future.
Frederik Mattwich – Design AI, Garching (DE)
Design AI offers solutions for the video-archiving process in media companies. The startup helps their clients to find out which Artificial Intelligence use cases are already possible and how to implement them. Frederik is looking for partnerships to leverage AI in media companies.
Lena Späth – The Story Market, Munich (DE)
Lena Späth is the founder of The Story Market, which is a syndication platform connecting publishers with the world’s top freelance journalists. With her startup she wants to shape the future of the media industry, that’s why she is looking for potential investors, collaborators and media executives.
Dan Burcaw – Nami ML, Denver (US)
Dan Burcaw, Co-Founder & CEO of Nami ML, wants to use our Virtual Media Match to get in touch with media companies, game publishers and other subscription-based businesses distributed on devices. His company offers a cost-efficient way for app publishers to sell subscriptions across ecosystems and devices.
Frederik Schodts – VRT, Brussels (BE)
Frederik is a management executive with a strong track record in build, scale and turnaround situations in innovative technology-enabled environments. He is working for VRT Sandbox, which is part of the Flemish public broadcaster VRT. The hub is organizing innovative collaborations with startups and entrepreneurs. At the Media Match he seeks for deep tech start-ups and scale-ups.
A tool that helps video creators to collect footage from all over the world. And to share it instantly. How does that sound in times of Corona? Well, that’s what Klipworks is made for. Asger Rasmussen is one of the co-founders of the startup that is part of our batch 10. We talked to him about Klipworks, his team, and why he had to stop working as a video editor in Denmark.
Hey Asger, how is working from home?
Asger: Working at home here in Denmark is actually not that different for me except that I have two kids hanging around that I cant send off to daycare. But of course, it’s different from our last days in Hamburg.
What are you guys doing at Klipworks?
Asger: Basically, we provide a tool that enables reporters to collect video content from their audience without meeting them in person. In a way it’s exactly what’s needed a lot right now in the Corona crisis. With Klipworks you as a reporter write a request and send it out virtually to people. After they finished their recordings with their smartphones, the footage will automatically be uploaded to our platform.
What’s your favorite feature of your tool?
Asger: The best thing about Klipworks is its speed. When you stop recording, the video is made available for the journalists within seconds.
How did you come up with the idea for that?
Asger: I have a background as a news journalist in Denmark. When I was doing video interviews, I realized that I was asking people the same questions and doing the same recordings again and again. So I thought: is there any way to enable people to shoot this footage by themselves? Also, video production is a lot about resources and logistics. We had to travel a lot and to put a lot of effort into a simple video. The more I thought about a solution, the more situations like that kept coming up.
At what stage is Klipworks right now?
Asger: I went full time with Klipworks at the beginning of 2020. We are still in a testing phase. So far, we are working with a Danish TV station and with the German public broadcaster NDR. So we have partners on both sides of the border already.
How did you meet up with the NDR?
Asger: One day in the middle of the Corona situation we got in touch with the NDR. They connected in the morning and in the afternoon we had the first skype session about their idea for a publishing project. On the night of the same day, they wrote to us: ‘Let’s do it!’ They put a team together and on Monday morning they started. That shows that there is a rapid adjustment now. Unfortanelty we couldn’t meet the people in person but our tool is not centered on face-to-face work. So for us, it wasn’t a problem.
Tell us a bit about the team behind Klipworks.
Asger: There’s me, coming in with the editorial background and my partner Nicolaj. He’s coming in with 25 years’ experience in the tech side. He had a company in the Nordics which installed software, hardware and cloud solutions for broadcasters and media companies. And then we have an experienced developer who worked in Silicon Valley and is back in Denmark now. Beyond that our investors bring in experiences from business development and leadership. They are great advisors for us.
What’s your best piece of advice for people founding a startup?
Asger: I learned that you really have to work on how people perceive your company. When I started working on Klipworks I was also doing manual video editing to have a safe income. Switching to work as a video software provider was really difficult because my clients were still seeing me as a video content creator. But you need to make that complete shift.
It sounds like a cliché but it’s really important to have the team in place before you start moving things. You need to establish trust in each other. Also on the investor’s and advisor’s side: it’s crucial to build strong relations with whoever is involved with the company. After all you’re in that together.
And what’s your #1 survival tip for working at home in the Corona situation?
Asger: Don’t have kids! (laughing) No, of course, you should see this as a chance. There are a lot of things missing due to the lockdown but you should turn this for the better. I think if your mindset is set to it, you can actually be more productive. There is a chance to find out the best working hours for you. And also what you need to be the best.
At the next media accelerator we strongly believe in the power of innovation: This was once again tested this year. We needed to shift the entire program and our batch…
This week we held our first #DMC2020 developed by our friends at OMR (Online Marketing Rockstars) to address a successful way for startups to grow in the media startup ecosystem…
The Corona pandemic moves all of us. Over the past few months, many of us have had to deal with new, perhaps unknown emotions – most of them were negative.…
VibeVision is a Finnish company based in Helsinki and one of the startups of our current batch 10. This time we met Ana-Maaria Sandmair, the COO of the company, on…
This year everything is different: The popular OMR20 festival created by the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) could not take place offline and now moved to the virtual space – at…
Ebele Wybenga, Coverstories, Netherlands: It was a premiere for all of us: instead of having people around at the Media Match lounge as part of the OMR Festival, we brought…
Starting a creative process only with a blank page and a pen is a huge challenge for many creative minds. That’s exactly where Moderne comes in. Mila Dayan and Kyril…
We at the NMA believe that connecting people is an important part of driving innovation. This is why on May 13th we will stage a proven event format again, the…
A tool that helps video creators to collect footage from all over the world. And to share it instantly. How does that sound in times of Corona? Well, that’s what…
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