Leading the way: Tunisian and Danish start-ups win GMF contest | DW Global Media Forum | DW | 29.10.2021
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Leading the way: Tunisian and Danish start-ups win GMF contest

Media start-ups are certainly having their moment right now, delivering innovative solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. But two convinced the Global Media Forum that even with new challenges, they're future-proof.

Two iCompass team members at an espresso shop in Tunis, Tunisia

The team behind iCompass in Tunisia wants to help debunk fake news using voice recognition

The DW Global Media Forum aims to promote innovation and progress across various disciplines. As part of our commitment to fresh ideas and new approaches, we decided to hold a contest for start-ups from around the globe. The focus of the contest was on visionaries who could relate to the GMF 2021 theme of "Disruption and Innovation.”

With nearly 100 entries from 36 countries, DW chose ten finalists to pitch their start-up to a jury made up of panel of industry experts. Those finalists included innovators with start-ups working in television production, fact checking experts, AI specialists and much more, all in search of finding clever solutions to the media challenges of tomorrow.

Those finalists included entries from Ethiopia, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Tunisia, Indonesia, Canada, Pakistan and Kenya.

Asger Rasmussen from KlipWorks standing in Copenhagen

Asger Rasmussen from KlipWorks believes that journalists need better video content faster

Two winners, many stories

In the end, our two winners from Denmark and Tunisia convinced the jury that they have what it takes to address some of the key issues in the global media market today.

Using Artificial Intelligence, iCompass from Tunisia detects various Arabic dialects and checks spoken content for accuracy and truthfulness. The company is also expanding into other parts of the African market, hoping to help audiences beyond the Arabic-speaking world with fact-checking news reports and trying to limit the damage caused by fake news. To achieve this, iCompass draws expertise from various disciplines, with its team being composed of academics and engineers who focus on information technology, mathematics and linguistics.

Chaima Fourati from iCompass told DW that in order “to ensure democratic values, we need to have access to trustworthy news across Tunisia and all of Africa.”

About 2,500 kilometers north of Tunisia, our other winner, Klipworks, takes a different approach to making sure that journalistic principles are ensured through technology. The company helps facilitate collecting video content from users to be made available to news organizations — without needing to go through difficult upload and download processes. By sharing a simple link with audiences, people are encouraged to record and submit a video, which, minutes later, is available to journalists, ready to edit and publish. 

Klipworks’ Asger Rasmussen told DW that his company has “evolved into something that has a larger purpose, which is to increase engagement and connect with audiences.”

The winners received video coverage on DW as well as training from the DW Akademie in recognition of their efforts to introduce new ideas to the media landscape.

A hybrid event for all

This year, the Global Media Forum start-up contest took place in a hybrid setting due to ongoing restrictions pertaining to COVID-19.

All start-ups – regardless of how far they made it in the race to the top – were welcome to participate as delegates at the DW Global Media Forum itself, where various issues relating to media, technology, society, politics, culture and other areas were discussed in an interdisciplinary setting, featuring a wide array of outstanding speakers and panelists.

Read more: The start-up contest at the DW Global Media Forum 2021

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