Next Media Accelerator: new ways to better content

In the third and final episode of our series about the new participants in the Next Media Accelerator (NMA) we present: a new type of job advertisement with whyapply, gamification of editorial content with Playgorithm and voice input of texts with Voimada.

whyapply – exciting challenges instead of boring job advertisements

The labour market is changing. Finding highly qualified personnel is becoming increasingly difficult, classic job advertisements with standardized hiring criteria are no longer up to date. A number of startups assume that companies will have to find new ways to recruit employees. One of these startups is whyapply from Leipzig. Founder Michael Benz, Islamic scholar and ethnologist, has worked for the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for several years and has realized that there are two major weaknesses in the usual application procedures.

Ronald Scholz, Michael Benz and Martin Conrad of whyapply (Foto: Teresa Enhiak Nanni)

On the one hand, most job advertisements do not adequately explain what the offered job is all about. In addition, when applications are evaluated, candidates who do not use certain keywords, regardless of their qualifications, are automatically rejected. whyapply avoids this by giving applicants tasks, so-called Challenges, which address the real problems of companies. If the client likes the problem solution, an employment relationship can result from it after further steps.

Michael was able to win the experienced software developer Ronald Scholz as co-founder. The team consists of four people. In September 2017 the first beta version of whyapply was launched. Around 20 customers have already played out their tasks via the social media, including such well-known companies as Continental and R + V Versicherung. One goal of the startup is to build up a database with the content and success rates of the challenges in order to be able to make recommendations to future customers. This focus on content has secured whyapply the place in the Next Media Accelerator. And of course the media industry is always looking for good personnel.

Playgorithm – attract more readers and buyers through play

Advertisers and producers of editorial content have a common challenge: they compete on the internet for the attention of customers and readers. The competition is huge. Gamification can be a means of differentiating oneself from it. Here the Israeli startup Playgorithm comes into play. Playgorithm allows publishers and advertisers to add playful elements to their content to increase engagement and revenue in an automated and straightforward process.

Yossi Doron und Chen Malka von Playgorithm (Foto: Teresa Enhiak Nanni)

This is made possible by the SaaS platform Albert. This platform enables unique multiplayer gaming experiences based on existing content. For example, Albert can immediately use elements from an article for a quiz game that significantly increases user engagement, organically promotes new access to the content and generates additional income. Playgorithm enables digital content publishers to involve their users based on their actions, interests and activities.

CEO Chen Malka launched Playgorithm in June 2017 with three partners: Adi Tal (CTO), Yossi Doron (VP product) and Idan Ptichi (Head of R&D). The trio had been working together for five years in a company whose customer was Chen. As a result, the young startup’s team is already well-practiced. Albert has already been in use on several occasions, for example at the World Cup this summer. Before the startup docks at the Next Media Accelerator in Hamburg in September, Chen is on the road in Hong Kong and Paris, among other places. That’s what they call a global player.

Voimada – text entry by voice

Joshua Akinsanya is a mechanical engineer. After a long journey in 2017 he wanted to become a blogger and write down his experiences. This was more tedious and time-consuming than expected, and he repeatedly revised his texts. Wouldn’t it be handy if an artificial intelligence (AI) could help him tell his stories? Which brings us to the business idea of Voimada.

Joshua Akinsanya von Voimada

Because “telling” is to be understood literally at Joshua’s startup. Users of Voimada no longer need to enter their contributions via computer keyboard, but can simply speak them. The software converts the spoken word immediately into text, which can then be processed further. Thanks to sophisticated speech recognition, the program identifies its users and adapts to their characteristics. Punctuation marks can be inserted via voice commands, and the AI should also help with text optimization.

Voimada has existed since January 2018, the core team of the Helsinki-based startup consists of four people. The software they have developed is not yet in use, but a demo version is already available and an MVP, a test product that meets the minimum requirements, is planned for the end of September. Voimada is not the first Finnish startup in the Next Media Accelerator; the previous batch included Frameright, originally also from Helsinki. Contacts between the teams already existed before, now both belong to the ever-growing NMA family.