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Synergies in Potsdam-Babelsberg: How MIZ Babelsberg and MTH Accelerator promote start-ups

Potsdam, May 30, 2024 – Potsdam-Babelsberg is known for its dynamic media landscape and the historic Studio Babelsberg. But what makes the ecosystem here particularly special is its proximity to universities, educational institutions, companies, service providers and other stakeholders. Collaborations create an innovative environment that supports both national and international film, media and MediaTech projects. But how exactly do the players in the location work together and how do young founding teams and start-ups in particular benefit from this? A good example of these synergies is the interaction between the Media Innovation Center Babelsberg (MIZ) and the MediaTech Hub Accelerator (MTH Accelerator).

The founding teams receive coaching in workshops and weekly check-ins (Image: MTH Accelerator)

“Through the close cooperation between MIZ Babelsberg and the MTH Accelerator, we are creating a unique funding landscape that offers young start-ups the necessary support and expertise to successfully establish themselves in the media industry,” says Luise Schröter, Community and Partner Manager at the MediaTech Hub Accelerator. “Our aim is to support innovative business models and fully exploit the region’s enormous potential,” adds Erdinç Koç, Head of the MediaTech Hub Accelerator.

The Media Founders Program at MIZ Babelsberg supports start-ups from the very beginning

The current application deadline for start-ups from the media industry to take part in MIZ Babelsberg’s Media Founders Program runs until June 9, 2024. With its funding programs, the MIZ supports start-ups and media professionals in implementing technically innovative ideas that make journalism and the media world fit for the future. In cooperation with the MTH Accelerator, start-up teams receive support from product development to establishing themselves as start-ups in Berlin-Brandenburg. During a funding period of up to 12 months, the teams have the chance to receive financial support of 40,000 euros from MIZ Babelsberg. They can then apply for the advanced Investment Readiness Program at the MTH Accelerator.

The online program of the MTH Accelerator focuses on on business and venture development as well as fundraising

The MediaTech Hub Accelerator’s Investment Readiness Program was designed at the beginning of 2024 to provide start-ups with intensive support and assistance, especially in the initial start-up phase. Young start-up teams receive two months of intensive support, followed by ten months of demand-driven support. The offer is aimed at start-ups with digital, innovative and scalable business models that would like to finance themselves with venture capital. The MTH Accelerator is the first and only one of its kind in Brandenburg. Since its launch in 2019, around 50 portfolio start-ups have raised a total of around 25 million euros in capital from investors.

Examples of successful start-ups that benefit from the funding programs

Radiozeit Accessible radio app and website for “read-along radio”

zeit offers an AI-supported SaaS solution for radio stations that enables live transcriptions and translations. Radio content is easier to find using the transcript search function. The aim is to make radio understandable for all listeners, especially for people with hearing difficulties or language barriers. The target group are public and private radio stations, both in Germany and internationally. Local journalism is also strengthened by the ease with which local content can be found. The long-term vision is to make all radio stations available in all languages and thus overcome language barriers.

Radiozeit was founded by Kristian Müller and Petros Theocharous – with the support of MIZ Babelsberg. According to Kristian Müller, the feedback on the business model and the networking opportunities were particularly helpful. Cooperation partners from the radio world, such as Radio TEDDY as a private broadcaster or Deutschlandradio as a public broadcaster, were quickly acquired to provide valuable feedback. The first project partner is ALEX Berlin, where you can already test how Radiozeit works. Together with the MediaTech Hub Accelerator, the founding team wants to drive the scaling of the start-up forward. Müller believes that the key success factors are knowing the industry well, having a good network and focusing on good products.

Zapdeck Innovative AI software for presentation creation

is an innovative software that uses artificial intelligence to create professional presentations from text content. In German- and English-speaking countries, specialists and managers spend around six million hours a day creating presentations. Zapdeck increases productivity by around 40 percent, allowing its users to concentrate on creative or strategic tasks. Unlike existing competitors, the team does not use artificial intelligence to create the content of a presentation, but to generate high-quality slide designs. Initially, the startup is focusing on small and medium-sized consultancies and agencies as well as founders and the self-employed.

Founded by Frederik Görtelmeyer, a former BCG consultant, the idea developed in the environment of the Hasso Plattner Institute. Supported by MIZ Babelsberg and the MediaTech Hub Accelerator, Zapdeck was able to gather valuable feedback from potential customers at an early stage in order to develop the product to meet the needs of the market and plan specific milestones. According to Görtelmeyer, it was also helpful to talk to customers and investors at an early stage in order to validate the market opportunities of the business model. The long-term vision is to become one of the world’s leading applications for presentations and to develop further AI-based business applications.

St. Audio AI guide for podcast growth

St. Audio
is an innovative startup that has launched as an AI-based guide for the growth of podcasts. In addition to a platform that offers individual tips for increasing the reach of subscriptions, St. Audio also operates an agency business that supports podcast teams with workshops, campaign implementation, social media content and cooperations. The company’s goal is to help podcasters, who often need support, especially in the area of marketing, with customized growth strategies. St. Audio’s long-term vision is to create the operating system for podcast growth and to continuously add analytics, predictions and multilingual content.

St. Audio was founded by David Streit, who was already supported by MIZ Babelsberg in 2014. MIZ’s Media Founders Program and subsequently the MediaTech Hub Accelerator were crucial in checking the developments directly in the market and putting the company on a stable footing. According to David Streit, it is important to think about the business model and monetization right from the start and to continuously verify ideas and developments based on real demand.

The close cooperation between MIZ Babelsberg and MTH Accelerator shows how synergies can be used at the Babelsberg media location and how young founders in particular benefit from the interaction of different players. By pooling resources and expertise, these programs provide a solid foundation for the success of start-ups in the media industry.

About MediaTech Hub Accelerator

Initiated in 2019 by the University of Potsdam, the Hasso Plattner Institute and the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the MediaTech Hub Accelerator is the first and only comprehensive accelerator for tech start-ups in Brandenburg. It supports start-up teams across all sectors in the early phase with a tailored twelve-month program. Together with his partners, he wants to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Potsdam, Brandenburg and beyond. In addition to contributions from the universities, the MTH Accelerator is financially supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Energy of the State of Brandenburg, the Investment Bank of the State of Brandenburg and the State Capital of Potsdam. Other partners are the Brandenburg Economic Development Corporation and medianet berlinbrandenburg. The operator is the MediaTech Hub Potsdam, the only digital hub in Germany with a focus on media technologies, selected by the BMWK as part of the Digital Hub Initiative. You can find more information at:

Press contact

Doreen Görisch
M. +49 172 3947051

About MIZ Babelsberg

The Media Innovation Center Babelsberg (MIZ) is the home of innovation for media and journalism in Berlin and Brandenburg. We promote new solutions at the interface of media and technology, bring innovation to editorial offices and offer space for an exchange about the future of journalism.

Press contact

Robert Bußler |
M. +49 179 7624544