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Media Startup Fellowship

Launch your media startup with us!

Media needs new solutions and it needs you! Whether you are eager to get your idea off the ground or already have a prototype, our accelerator program provides the necessary funding, coaching and network to launch your digital media startup. What are you waiting for?

Apply for our application reminder now, and become part of batch #14 in summer 2023!

Media Startup Fellowship

What to expect at the Media Startup Fellowship!

50.000 €

Fellowship startups receive a prototyping budget of up to 40,000 €, plus an additional 10,000 € worth in mentoring, office space & media services.

Contacts & Network

We can connect your startup with all major media cpmpanies in Germany. With us you get to know the people your startup needs to go through the roof!


Fast Internet, chic desks and excellent coffee: All of this is waiting for you in our CoWorking space.

Mentors & Coaches

Whether business, design thinking or law, our experienced coaches and mentors are always ready to help you with anything you don't know

9 months to take your startup to the next Level!



10.000 € Payout

The first phase of the Fellowship is all about validating your prototype, finding customers and developing your brand positioning.

  • Teambuilding
  • MVP
  • Business Model
  • UX Design


10.000 € Payout

We boost your sales approaches and support you in your customer search by connecting you to the right people in our partner network and the media industry.

  • Pitching
  • Marketing & PR
  • Sales
  • Growth Hacking


20.000 € Payout

It's getting real! In this last phase you will work on a sustainable business model and a funding plan for your startup.

  • Investment
  • Legal
  • Recruting


Everything you need

The goal of a media startup is to provide a service for journalists, publishers and other media companies. This can be done via the creation of own content or via technical solutions that support the content of others. By "media" we mean, for example:

  • Content
  • Software & Workflows
  • Bots & AI
  • AdTech
  • AR & VR & 360°
  • Payment
  • Data & Analytics
  • Personalization
  • Data Driven Publishing
  • Film(tech)

We are looking for teams that are serious about founding. Your company doesn't have to be officially founded yet, but you should be able to prove to us that you can actually build a product, by having a working prototype at hand already.

We're not looking for the next random blog on any topic - unless you have plans to scale up to a digital publisher. We support plans that innovate with new technology and do something completely different with digital media.

This year our program will take place remotely again. However, some of the dates (pitch days, coachings, workshops, ...) might take place on site during the 9-months program. We will announce the dates in advance and we would be happy to welcome you at our Media Lab office in Munich.

Dates you should already block in your calendar:
In any case, you should be prepared for the Trial Run to take place at the middle of October. This remote workshop will decide who will be accepted into the Fellowship. The program itself will start in November with the Startup School, which will be the fundament of the following 9 months.


What Happens When

  • 07.02.


  • 01.03. - 03.03.

    Trial Run

  • 17.04. - 26.04.

    Startup School

  • 26.04. - 20.07.

    Phase I

    Payout 10.000 €

  • 20.07. - 10.10.

    Phase II

    Payout 10.000 €

  • 10.10. - 05.12.

    Phase III

    Payout 20.000 €

FAQ - Questions that keep coming up

How do you define "media startup"?

The goal of a media startup is to provide a service for journalists, publishers and other media companies. This can be done via the creation of own content or via technical solutions that support the content of others. Whether platforms, SaaS models, or a special interest content startup, as long as your solution can be applied by media companies, you are right with us.


  • Messaging & Bots
  • AI, Algorithms, Machine Learning
  • Data- und Robot Journalism
  • Payment, Paid Content, New Business Models
  • Distributed & Social Media
  • Personalized & Atomized Content
  • Audio & Podcasting
  • 360°-Video, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality
  • Mobile Storytelling & Reporting
  • Media Ad Tech, Native Advertising
  • Influencer, Marketing, PR
  • Tech-Startups

CMS & Services

  • Tools for Newsrooms
  • Ad Tech
  • Platforms
  • B2C Products, Apps
  • Film(tech)


  • Formats for New Technologies (Bots, Algorithms, etc.)
  • Platform Formats (Messenger, Live, Snapchat)
  • Innovative Advertising Formats
  • Media Brands for Special Interest Topics

How far along does the idea have to be?

If you haven't validated your idea yet (= a hundred people asked if they want your product and you received a YES!) then it's more like an Idea Sprint, Workshop or one of our other programs for you. But if you already have enough feedback from potential users, then apply for the Fellowship! Our coaches will help you with your business plan, design and prototyping.

Do I already have to have all team members fixed?

Your team should work for the product. If you build a software, you should have coder on board. If you are working on content and formats, you should have a storyteller on board. During the six months you'll be working on prototyping, so you'll have to be able to implement the input. If there's still too much missing, join one of our other programs!

How much time do I have to spend?

The Media Startup Fellowship is a full-time program. You work 9 months on the product and get a prototyping budget for it. Once a week there is a set coaching session, in between there are mentor meetings and theme workshops and you will present your projects at evening events and conferences among the Media Lab community. You can only do that if you are fully committed. If a part of the team is only working part time, commitment is still possible - as long as you are able to make decisions on a daily basis and can be present at all meetings, you will be a fit for our program.

Are we going to get funding from you?

Each team receives up to 40,000 Euros in prototyping budget. We trust you will make the right decision when considering whether to spend the money on caviar, a trip to New York, or programming individual features.

Are you taking any stakes in our startup?

"What? Really?"
No. Really not. Cool, right? Come to us!

Do I have to be in Munich to participate?

Unlike in recent years, you do not have to be in Munich full-time. This year, the program will again take place remotely. There might be a couple of on-site dates for workshops and coaching sessions for which you might have to travel in Munich.

In any case, you should be prepared for the trial run in Munich in October. During this workshop, which lasts several days, it will be decided who will be accepted into the Fellowship. The program itself starts in November with the Startup School.

Can I participate if I want to use a technology to develop a business case in the media industry?

Yes, absolutely!

Do you also fund film projects?

We support startups that provide technologies, digital tools and approaches that advance the film industry. This includes innovative digital products of any kind that make working in film easier. The Media Startup Fellowship is not a film grant, so direct funding of films is excluded.

Can I apply without revealing my idea?

No, you can't :)

Do you have a question?