Hans (Publishing Manager) and Matthias (Business Development Manager) answer themost frequently asked questions about the breakthrough award
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF ORGANISINGTHE BREAKTHROUGH AWARD?
Hans: Ultimately it was a classic beer garden idea - we naturally use thecompetition as a business model, but above all it is an excellent opportunity forbrand building for all our technical brands.
Matthias: We are working more and more with start-ups because they bring thenecessary innovative power and pragmatism into the projects. The competition is agreat solution in terms of getting in touch with many exciting start-ups
WHAT DOES A START-UP HAVE TO DO TO BE ABLE TOENTER?
Matthias: Basically text, picture and optionally video material that explain yourproduct or service and your start-up to the reader are sufficient. Here you can findlast year's vote to guide you. We would be delighted to send you an orientationguide for your submission. Basically, however, the founder decides how she or hewants to present the product/service and start-up to the reader.
AND WHAT DO YOU TAKE FROM THE START-UPS?
Matthias: We do not take shares or anything similar from the start-ups. There isalso no participation fee or any hidden costs in claiming the prize. All we needfrom you is the text, images and video material.
Hans: However, it may be good after the competition for us to contact you fromtime to time to talk about possible cooperation between us.
YOUR BRANDS ARE REALLY MORE TECHNOLOGY-ORIENTED; CAN ANY PRODUCT REALLY BE PRESENTED?
Matthias: It really does not matter in what area the start-up is active. Throughthe various channels we serve (print, online, social media, events,...) we havesuch a broad target group that there is something for almost every topic. Even ifthe fit is sometime not right, it is still a great possibility to let off steam inmarketing terms and the prize money can certainly be used by everyone anyway.
Hans: Last year, for example, we had start-ups from the fashion or event sectorinvolved. There you don't immediately think of our brands. But I am sure that wewould have developed great media campaigns here as well and given the start-upsconcerned a lot of attention. Last but not least, we have 350,000 Edgar Cards onboard, which can be used very specifically and creatively.
WHO DECIDES WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Hans: WEKA MEDIA PUBLISHING does a brief preliminary check as to whetherparticipation is worthwhile for the applicant. We mainly focus on whether theproduct or service will be on or going on the market in 2018, because without alaunched product it makes little sense to take such a large amount of mediavolume.
Matthias: In the event of any doubt, we always opt for registration. Last year weonly had to reject very few applicants. In principle, we also reserve the right tomake this decision in order to exclude morally questionable or in any way racistor discriminatory content.
WHO DIVIDES THE START-UPS INTO CATEGORIES?
Hans: We do that after all applications have been received. Only then can wefinally decide which and how many categories will be involved. Last year therewere six categories and there could be more this year.
Matthias: The top priority here as in the entire competition is fairness. It maybe the case that the categories have different sizes, but this will never be adisadvantage or advantage for specific start-ups.
WHAT IS THIS YEAR'S SCHEDULE?
Matthias: You can apply from now until October 10, 2018. The user voting will thentake place from 01 November to 31 December 2018.
Hans: On February 07, 2019 the jury will meet to decide on the top 3 in thebreakthrough 2019 award. On February 14, 2019, a major closing event will takeplace in Munich and of course all participants are cordially invited to this
HOW DO YOU SELECT THE MEMBERS OF THE JURY ANDWHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE A JURY?
Hans: We simply ask interesting personalities if they are interested in a seat onthe jury. Our jury members are not paid. In some cases, sponsors may be on thejury, but this is not the rule.
Matthias: User votes are at risk of being distorted by click farms and the like.For this reason, we have decided not only to have the decision delivered throughuser voting, but also to hold a two-tiered competition. Last year so many start-ups definitely benefited from this mode through the contacts to the jury membersand their useful tips.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE COMPETITION IN A FEW YEARS?
Hans: Our vision is of course to become the biggest start-up competition in Europe- if not the world. But seriously, in the next few years, we want to expand the"Breakthrough Award" into a multi-day start-up event. In the best case we will beable to combine the whole thing with great evening concerts.
A start-up festival that already includes the concert tickets for 3 differentlocations and 15 bands in the ticket price. That would be exactly what I wouldlike!