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Why media owners should keep their eyes on start-ups

Keeping an eye on start-up hubs presents him with an opportunity to explore trends very early, spot potential new revenue streams or threats, and discover talent.

These are just some of the reasons why Dominik Grau, managing director of Ebner Publishing International in the US (and soon to take up a new position as chief innovation officer of the Ebner Media Group, spending his time between Germany and the US), has decided to join FIPP for its first London Start-up Tour.

FIPP’s London Start-up Tour takes place from 16-18 November 2015. Early bird registration (saving you at least £750) will remain available for a limited period. Click here to read more and to register.

Grau is well versed in the world of start-up ecosystems through his work with start-up incubators and governmental accelerator programmes.

Here, he speaks to FIPP’s Christine Huntingford (who promised him a pint or two!) about start-up hubs, why it’s important for media owners to keep in touch with these ecosystems around the world and why London is a must-attend destination.

Why is keeping an eye on start-up ecosystems important for media owners?

For me, that’s where the future happens; it’s the best place to explore trends very early; it’s an opportunity to discover new revenue streams and understand potential threats as well as find potential new staff members with unique skills.

Outside of London and Silicon Valley, which cities/places do you see as key start-up hubs worldwide?

  1. Hong Kong: ready access to cash, perfect location between China, Southeast Asia and Australia/NZ
  2. Singapore: same as Hong Kong but a stricter focus on global clients
  3. Dubai: not many start-ups as of yet but we see a lot of growth there and a great global network beyond the Middle East
  4. Moscow: the sanctions have not stopped the up-and-coming new business generation to churn out new ideas constantly, mostly IT/tech/security
  5. Berlin: THE place to be for fashion/design/media/commerce/health start-ups with a European focus
  6. Paris: we see a lot of design and fashion start-ups there, but also fintech (financial) and non-profits
  7. New York: Silicon Alley grows and grows and grows
  8. Boston: IT, tech, health care, media

You have registered for our London tour. How familiar are you with the start-up scene here? 

I am already somewhat familiar with London, as I have been there on business trips and met couple start-ups in the past. I subscribe to start-up newsletters and have friends there who keep me up to date. Of course, I read local newspapers and digital magazines as well (to keep up to date with start-up news).

What makes London of interest to you?

London is like a magnet; I’ve come to embrace the global nature of the people there – except San Francisco no place is as global as London

In general, when you visit start-ups what are the key motivations behind the visits?

I love to learn new things; to meet exciting creative disruptive people; to scout potential investments or partners for Ebner and to have fun and broaden my horizon beyond traditional media.

You engage with FIPP across various platforms, from FIPP.com to events, and now will of course join us for the London Start-up Tour. What benefits do you draw from these engagements?

FIPP is a powerful network of successful media companies. Change in our industry is certain and digital technologies are here to stay, so it is important to share knowledge and discuss new media business realities together. 

Media companies at the very core are information companies, like no one else they understand audience behaviour, the psychology of great content and the relationships between consumers and the products they buy or desire. These are very valuable skill sets. 

Change is certain, which makes it so necessary to continuously leverage the advantages of a global platform like FIPP.

What do you hope to get out of the London tour?

Well after doing this interview, FIPP now owes me beer, so that’s the least I will get out of it! But seriously, I look forward to meeting other media executives, learning together with them and immersing myself in London from a different perspective, i.e. the start-up perspective. I also think it’s important for me to stop the daily business routine now and again and readjust my start-up radar.

Why would you urge your worldwide peers to join?

Who would not want to discover the hidden secrets of exciting start-ups in London? If you want to listen, learn and leverage: this is one of the places in the world to explore the future of media and technology.

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About the London Start-Up Tour

FIPP’s London Start-up Tour takes place from 16-18 November 2015. Early Bird registration (saving you at least £750) will remain available for a limited period. Click here to read more and to register. Get in touch with Christine Huntingford and/or Jenny Stubbs if you have questions.

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