Media Lift

Content & Tech Incubator:
Turning ideas into innovation

We’re here to support your innovative business ideas in the area of content and technology. Whether you are a student, founder or employee of a large media and digital company, whether you’re working this out on your own or as a team – we’ll take your idea to the next level.

In a three-phase approach, we provide support and mentoring as well as workshops and professional coaching tailored to your needs. Further, we make work space and financial support available to you, so that you can fully concentrate on your project. And although the program has guidelines, we make sure the respective timetable and contact person fits your needs.

And needless to say: Your ideas are yours! After the incubator you are free to roll out your project as a start-up, develop it further with our numerous partners, or integrate it into your company without having to give up a stake in your business.

Apply now for Batch 3, which starts in April and ends in September.

If you have any questions, just ask our Program Manager Cigdem and Bastian.

Phase 0


Putting the team together – finding the right people to pursue your idea:

You work for a media or digital company?
We support teams who want to implement their ideas outside their usual business environment.
Maybe your company already knows the MEDIA LIFT program. If not, we will provide you and your superiors with more information.

Our Matching Partners


Spin-off, student project, start-up plans? Your innovative business ideas in content & technology are important to us. We are looking for teams with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, ideally interdisciplinary teams of students or employees of established media and digital companies – the more diverse the better.

Our program is your fast track to the content and tech world. It enables you to understand this world, to prototype and validate your ideas, to pick the brains of industry experts, and to meet motivators, facilitators and decision makers.

  • Financial support for your project: up to €15,000 per team
  • Customized competence transfer through workshops and professional coaching
  • Work space and creativity rooms
  • Mentoring
  • Introduction to important decision makers
  • Access to various events in Hamburg
  • Inclusion in the nextMedia.Hamburg network
  • Post-incubator support 
  • You are an interdisciplinary team made up of two to five people
  • You are developing an innovative business idea in the area of ​​content, and your idea has a tech component
  • Your idea could be turned into a viable business, but it is still in the pre-start or project start phase
  • Your idea is not pure product development

The Jury

In the selection process for Batch 1/2019 and in the pitches, this is the jury you and your team have to win over with your idea:

Selection phase


You got an invitation to the second round of the selection process? Not bad, but there is still one hurdle to overcome: Convince us in a pre-pitch why your idea should be supported by MEDIA LIFT. If you get our “Go!”, you have three weeks to prepare yourself and then things really get started.

Mentors & Experts

Look forward to learning from the best:

The Teams

Please welcome the six teams of Batch 1!


Publishing in a voice first world:

BotTalk make voice platforms such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant more technically accessible for publishers, allowing them to place content and digital products on voice assistants faster.
Read more


A touchpoint between classic touchpoints:

Wallie. provides brands with a customizable and contextual push-and-pull channel through mobile wallet marketing – all without an app, paper or plastic.
Read more


Context is King:

News Seam produces automated timelines for individual topics using AI. This creates holistic information on complex topics for readers and new relevance for past content for media partners.
Read more


Redirected Walking in Virtual Reality:

Using intelligent algorithms Space Walk challenges the limitations of human perception and enables natural walking in virtual space - for infinite worlds in gaming, architecture, marketing or journalism.


Consistently pursuing empowerment and cultural change:

By offering digital tools Female Leadership Academy supports the systematic promotion of female employees within companies.
Read more


AI designs 3D landscapes:

WUNDERPARC automates the creation of 3D worlds from two-dimensional images and tackles a major financial and organizational hurdle in the gaming and film industry.
Zur Webseite
Phase 1

Idea & Team

In the first phase, we coach you in the areas of team building, idea development, and market knowledge. In addition, you will receive training that will optimally prepare you for your first pitch.

Pitch I

At the end of the first phase, it is up to you to convince an expert jury with your results. If you succed, this is your ticket to the next incubator phase.

Phase 2


Prototyping, testing, marketing – with our coaching and support, you will present your MVP at the end of MEDIA LIFT’s second phase.

Pitch II

How far have you and your idea matured? Prove to the jury that you are ready for the final incubation phase.
Phase 3


The teams that make it to the final phase of the incubator will receive coaching on investment, business modelling, resources, and legal issues.

Here, it is all about the question: What comes next?

Final Pitch

The big finale: If you succesfully convince the jury, you are ready to start your own company, to continue your project with follow-up support.


Batch 2

The incubator has successfully come to an end? Then it’s time for the next – with new teams and new ideas MEDIA LIFT starts the second batch in January 2020. Who is in?

You can’t wait? Tell us about your plans.

Get in touch

Cigdem is the contact person for the Prototyping Lab and the Media Innovation Buzz. Together with Bastian she also takes care of the program management for the MEDIA LIFT incubator. After her training in media business management, she studied publishing at the HTWK Leipzig and book science at the University of Mainz. After working for ZEIT, Bookwire and Holtzbrinck ePublishing, she was most recently Manager Strategy & Innovation at the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Cigdem Aker

Program Manager
T +49 40 / 879 7986 121

As a program manager, Bastian is the contact person for the MEDIA LIFT Incubator and the newTV Kongress. Bastian studied business psychology and digital media at the University of Lüneburg, as well as human factors at the Technical University of Berlin. For many years, he worked as a trained insurance specialist for Volkswagen Financial Services AG in various positions. Then, he gained start-up experience at an IT company in Hamburg, where he was responsible for marketing and PR. Most recently, he was innovation and product manager at a medium-sized digital spin-off. Given that Bastian is a passianate hobby cook, on weekends you might just bump into him and his food truck.

Bastian Springer

Program Manager
T +49 40 / 879 7986 126

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