MEDIA LOVES TECH is the name and the idea behind this project that got underway in 2018. The goal is to bring together two worlds that are often too far apart: journalism and the startup community.
Together with Al Khatt, a local project partner and non-governmental media organization, DW Akademie aims to scout, promote, develop and test innovations for the media sector.
In 2018, a legal support framework for startups in Tunisia came into effect, structured around a label of merit and benefits for entrepreneurs, investors and startups. Just like MEDIA LOVES TECH, it aims to support development through bold entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas.
Since its launch, the annual MEDIA LOVES TECH incubation program, financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supports eight to twelve startups. Implemented almost entirely online, and originally as a three-day mentor supported hackathon, it has grown to become an incubation cycle that lasts three months. It promotes all phases of a startup — from the original idea to market entry.
It has been five years since the program was started and it is still going strong. This publication is an initial assessment. Does the belief that progress comes from promoting innovation hold true? Can promoting new media projects with viable business models succeed in an unstable economic or political environment? One needs to look at various aspects to find answers. It is often said that over 90 percent of startups go under in the first two years.
Still, startups are often seen as a forerunner to economic development and as having a stimulating effect on the overall economy. Even if initiatives do flop, their traces can still be found in the ecosystem. When assessing the MEDIA LOVES TECH program, it is worth reflecting on what has been achieved and gaining insights for the future. Five projects are presented here. DW Akademie's team has taken an in-depth look at the projects’ stories and progress and includes key performance indicators. Measuring impact in an unsteady startup environment can be a challenge, and our success stories address this. But as we at DW Akademie believe, "big changes start small," and so do the startups presented here.