MediaFutures – a retrospective, part 2: Business & Innovation Workshop and Business Model Analysis of MediaFutures’ Startups

Grafik mit dunkelblauem Hintergrund auf dem MediaFutures steht

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The H2020 project MediaFutures, which focussed on ways in how start-ups and artists can use data to fight misinformation and disinformation on the internet, has recently come to an end. Now we, Alexandra Garatzogianni, Coordinator of the MediaFutures Project, and Michael Fribus, her her Project Management Deputy, are happy to share some of the final results and accomplishments of the project throughout its duration of three years.

Goals of the exploitation and sustainability work package

In MediaFutures, one of the main goals of the exploitation and sustainability work package was to establish a Business & Operational Model for the MediaFutures Project. Consequently, as part of the 4th bi-annual Plenary in April 2023, our consortium organized an onsite MediaFutures Business & Innovation Workshop in Rome, Italy. In the following, we will present the progress of the workshop, and which exploitable activities, assets and results were generated as a result of the programme.

Business & Innovation Workshop

During the MediaFutures Business & Innovation Workshop we have created a project-specific Business Model Canvas (BMC) consisting of nine elements, namely “Key Partners”, “Key Activities”, “Key Resources”, “Value Proposition”, “Customer Relationships”, “Channels”, “Customer Segments”, “Cost Structure”, and “Revenue Streams”.

The BMC proved to be an effective tool for strategic alignment and helped us to easily communicate operational and innovation related aspects to audiences from various different  disciplines. The workshop was designed to generate a creative process, enabling collaborative dialogue and sharing different perspectives in order to shape a completely new form of the BMC.

Our MediaFutures Business Model Canvas

During the workshop, various work groups have been established to brainstorm on the different BMC categories. Afterwards, in the scope of a joint discussion, the MediaFutures Consortium has collected feedback on the input per BMC element and it has been voted on the most reasonable features. As a result, the following graphic, depicting the MediaFutures Business Model Canvas, has been conducted:

“The BMC proved as a valuable tool at various levels during our project. Using the BMC as a launchpad to start discussions from diverse lenses, encompassing the sustainability of the MediaFutures project results.The core categories provided a good foundation to exchange with our colleagues and brainstorm for richly diverse exploitation and sustainability avenues, sharing lessons learned, experiences and recommendation for successful uptake.

Alexandra Garatzogianni, Coordinator of MediaFutures

The Business Model Canvas has also been presented more in detail in D6.2 Exploitation Implementation.

Business Model Analysis of MediaFutures’ Startups

Moreover, we share certain outcomes of the Business Model Analysis of the SMEs, and startups that participated in MediaFutures’ support programme. To accomplish this, we consider the participants of the MediaFutures tracks Startups for Citizens (SfC) and Startup meets Artist (SmA) across all three cohorts. The main criterion for our Business Model Analysis was collecting data exclusively from startups, which participated in the business planning session during the START phase. All acquired data will be presented in a semi-anonymized fashion.

The Business Model Analysis of the MediaFutures’ Startups includes five different categories, namely “Problems/Solutions”, “Value Proposition”, “Customer Segments”, “Business Model”, and “Revenue Streams”. In the following, we would sum up the observations for each category.

Problems & Solutions

For “Problems & Solutions”, although most of the teams indicated the problem of misinformation & disinformation in their business models, each candidate addressed the issue from a certain angle, e.g. the lack of more information and data sets in niche topics. The solutions were more diverse and many startups aimed to provide a societal benefit such as the improvement of media literacy of certain minorities. Oftentimes, the solutions of certain business models incorporated a creative approach such as gamification as a method to raise awareness on topics such as deep fakes on social media.

Value Proposition

In the next category, called “Value Proposition”, the most noticeable observation was that all startups having provided input for our Business Model Analysis were either focused on the user itself, i.e. more experience-oriented, or were focused on the technology itself, i.e. more solution-oriented. An example for a more experience-oriented approach was the attempt to improve media literacy of certain users as well as increasing their awareness about the harmfulness of mis- and disinformation campaigns and stimulating their ability to critically think and double check sources. An example for a solution-oriented approach was to optimise platforms that would support related parties to produce data AI tasks.

Customer Segments

For the next category, “Customer Segments”, it can be concluded that accelerated startups addressed a broad range of customer segments, including for-profit companies, B2B and B2C organisations, non-profit organisations and NGOs, including the general public. There were also startups that approached specific customer segments such as organisations that are working in the creative sector and are directly related to the arts.

Business Modell and Revenue Streams

The fourth category, “Business Model” incorporated in greater extent either a paid-subscription model or a freemium model. The respective business model types were highly dependent on the customer segments that were addressed by the startups. Last but not least, for the category “Revenue Streams”, either a subscription model was offered or cash flow was incorporated as a crucial part of their respective business model.

For more information, feel free to discover D6.2 Exploitation Implementation.

Leitung Wissens- und Technologietransfer, Koordinatorin von EU-Projekten // Head of Knowledge and technology transfer, Coordinator of EU Projects

Stellvertreter Kommunikation und Verbreitung PLATOON // Communication & Dissemination Deputy