EFM Startups celebrates its fifth anniversary
by Vassilis Economou
- BERLIN 2019: The EFM Horizon hub is inviting ten cutting-edge start-ups from all over the world to introduce themselves, and bridge the gap between technology and the audiovisual industry
Unspooling under the EFM Horizon umbrella (8-12 February) – the most progressive part of the European Film Market (7-15 February) – EFM Startups is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Running for three days (10-12 February), the specialised hub for start-ups is expanding and invites ten leading tech entrepreneurs from the film and media industries to connect and introduce themselves to the market audience. Compared to previous years, the number of participating companies has increased and, for the first time, they hail from all around the world (Germany, France, Estonia, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada). Also, the range of products span a vast array of fields, from innovative ticketing solutions to seamlessly integrated immersive digital environments, and from team-management apps to biometric audience analysis tools.
On Monday 11 February, the companies will introduce themselves to the industry during a formal group pitch held at the EFM Horizon headquarters at Berliner Freiheit on Potsdamer Platz, by showcasing new ideas that integrate media and technology. Furthermore, they will have the chance to arrange curated, one-on-one meetings, and for two days (11-12 February), the EFM Startups companies will be presenting themselves at their stands at the heart of the EFM, in the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
In alphabetical order, here we profile the ten EFM Startups companies and their representatives:
Aiconix (Germany) – CEO Eugen L Gross and CTO Aleksander Koleski (co-founders)
Hamburg-based Aiconix capitalises on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the field of video optimisation. It is developing a platform that can record and analyse the audience’s preferences and interests while they watch video content. That information could then be used by online media producers to adapt their content according to the needs of their target groups. It will also be useful because they will be able to have the data analysed during the production process, offering flexibility and the possibility to optimise the final result, which may in turn boost audience numbers.
Archive Valley (France) – Jhava Chikli, co-founder and COO; Stoyan Tankosvki, customer operation analyst
Founded by Melanie Rozencwajg and Jhava Chikli three years ago in Paris, Archive Valley’s mission is to maximise access to unique archive and new footage, worldwide. The conversation-based platform creates direct connections between content producers and hundreds of archival sources, including institutes, museums, private clients and a community of archive researchers within a network that spans more than 80 countries.
Evrbit (Germany) – Axel Steinkuhle, co-founder and CEO; Lisa Helisch, product manager
Headquartered in Cologne, Evrbit aims to unite the digital and analogue ecosystems by mixing technologies and creating one single, immersive environment. The cutting-edge technology company creates synchronised virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and geolocation applications based on the philosophy of “digital swarm”, which enables events hinging on group experiences, where multiple devices can interconnect seamlessly. Their most popular product, eVRsync, is used in an audio-synchronised VR cinema: no headphones or wires are needed, as the VR group experience runs simultaneously for an unlimited number of viewers.
FilmarketHub (Spain) – CEO Andrea Giannone and COO Bernardo Gomez (co-founders)
Connecting more than 2,000 audiovisual professionals and companies in 25 countries, Barcelona-based FilmarketHub is the first online marketplace for films and series in development. Through the platform, the submitted international projects can be matched with potential partners, which include producers, TV broadcasters, OTT platforms, sales agents and distributors. Also, through its various industry and festival partners, FilmarketHub organises a series of pitching events, under the Pitchbox brand.
LMDP Co (Canada) – Charles S Roy, film producer and head of Digital Projects
Designed in Montreal and previously presented at Storytek and Cannes NEXT, VFC Biomediæ is an audience-monitoring and biometric analysis tool that employs recent and affordable innovations in neurotechnology. Through user-friendly biofeedback techniques, the tool will give independent film and digital creators and rights holders in interactive media industries the opportunity to transform the way films are produced, distributed and promoted.
Polkatulk Scenso (France) – Denis Février, co-founder and general manager; Mathieu Di Pace, acquisitions manager
By using blockchain protocols, and via its Smart Contracts, Paris-based Polkatulk secures and certifies all of the contractual elements of content ahead of any secure and transparent transaction. Through a dedicated micro-service architecture and specific video-encoding suite, the company promotes a hassle-free form of content distribution and copyright management. The first implementation of this technology is demonstrated in Scenso.tv, Polkatulk’s SVoD platform dedicated to streaming performing-arts videos.
Ticketing Group (Netherlands) – Robert van Hunsel, CEO and founder; Noelle Haitsma, executive board member (Impact Cinema)
Part of Impact Cinema, Amsterdam-based Ticketing Group aims to make culture more accessible by connecting institutions (such as museums, theatres, cinemas, music venues and festivals) to a wider audience. In the scattered and segmented market of promoting cultural events, the company offers an alternative to today’s ticketing solutions by using data-driven, transparent insights on product and audience behaviour. Everything will be hosted by the universal B2C platform Cultuurticket.nl, which acts as an online marketplace for cultural consumers.
Votemo (Estonia) – CEO Dagmar Mäe and CMO Tõnis Vassar (co-founders)
Formerly known as Clappy, Votemo is a platform for TV that allows real-time audience participation. Already cooperating with media and telecoms companies in Estonia and abroad, the start-up created by Storytek Creative Hub alumni offers viewers the chance to express their feelings, vote and comment on live or recorded TV shows, drawing them into an interactive, participatory environment that is more closely related to social media. Recently, Estonian digital service provider Levira became a partner of Votemo, investing in product development and how to penetrate deeper into the European TV market.
White Rabbit (Norway) – Alan R Milligan, CEO; Adrian Hessel-Rutter, COO
The aim of Oslo-based White Rabbit is to professionalise the peer-to-peer (P2P) market and rid it of its illicit reputation. Viewers can freely choose their content via any P2P platform, and the White Rabbit plug-in technology suggests that they support the creators after it recognises the content. To facilitate the payment process, a blockchain-backed token reward system is used, offering transparency and guaranteeing a secure revenue for the rights holders, who can also control the analytics of their products. Furthermore, this process offers viewers the chance to directly support their favourite shows, thus avoiding breaking the law, and circumnavigating distribution or other limitations.
Zelos (Estonia) – Johanna-Mai Riismaa, CEO; Ailan Daniel Mark, CCO
Originally introduced as an internal tool for the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Zelos is a team-management application for large teams of volunteers. The tasking app is now available to all festivals, conferences and large-scale events looking to make all of those everyday micromanagement struggles easier, via a platform that automatically allows the volunteers to engage with social-media marketing, ticket sales, extra tasks and shift swapping.
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