Create a new mobile solution – you might win 80 000 euros

The Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland launched its new Think Ink innovation contest at the Mediapäivä event on 14 November 2017 and at SLUSH from 30 November to 1 December in Helsinki. The contest seeks to find ideas on New mobile media solutions. The contest aims to create new business solutions for media that would increase the potential of (mobile) commerce. The solutions can be new services, prototypes, or innovations that facilitate or improve production processes.

Background

Mobile marketing and mobile payments have grown steadily in Finland since 2014. Growth is predicted to continue during coming years. The domestic mobile market is forecasted to be worth 374 million euros in 2019[1]. The growth of mobile usage can also be seen in the amount of international website visitors, in which, for the first time during 2016, a greater visitor count was measured on mobile devices than with computers.[2] The consumption of content on different devices varies strongly depending on the time and location. Computers still dominate website browsing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but during other times of the day, smartphones and tablets are more popular[3].

In the media industry, digital native content producers have been the most successful in digital, mobile and mobile content. Globally, the media revolution and the digitalisation has been led by technology companies with new production and distribution methods. Companies like Google and Facebook have developed services that make media consumption user-friendlier and engage readers, especially in mobile. Using artificial intelligence and algorithms in editorial work may, at times, slightly blur the lines between the roles of media and technology. According to studies it has however become evident that even technology companies need reporters and editorial processes to create relevant content for their readers. To name an example, the technology company Snapchat has a 75-person editorial staff.[4]

In a constantly changing, and increasingly mobile media marketplace, challenges include:

  • Finding the correct distribution channel for and format of content (technology companies use e.g. search engines and email).
  • Finding a revenue generation model.
  • Measuring content engagement and developing analytics
    • In both mobile and other devices
    • How do you identify the consumer path if they switch devices while consuming content?
  • Ensuring competitiveness. How to compete:
    • with advertising networks and app stores?
    • with apps and software such as Apple News, Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles and Snapchat?
  • Defining future supply structures and processes. How can artificial intelligence support the work of humans and the servicing of media clients?

The solution can be related to any of the problem descriptions above, any media sector (e.g. news media, magazines, book publishing, print media, TV or radio) and it can e.g. be a new service or a solution that makes production processes easier. The competition is open to everyone. The jury will evaluate the ideas based on their novelty value, potential influence and possibilities for implementation.

Declaration

The Think INK innovation contest wants to encourage you to come up with ideas about mobile solutions that enable new business solutions for media.

Is there technological or other know-how in Finland that could create something unforeseen? We are challenging industry professionals as well as completely new agents, teams and persons to gather their thoughts and participate in the Think INK competition’s search for ideas on primarily Finnish solutions (concepts, prototypes, complete solutions, business models) that would offer new types of mobile solutions. The solutions can also be international.

Mobile devices have revolutionised both the world and media. We are now looking to reward the best mobile business solutions for media. Whether your idea is a new service or an innovation that improves media production processes, submit it to the Think INK New mobile media solutions competition, starting in November.

We will evaluate the news value, level of influence and ability to be implemented of the ideas participating in the Media Industry Research Foundation’s competition. We will also be sparring the best individual and team presenters in fine-tuning both product development and business plans.

The competition winner will receive a prize of 80,000 euros and the runner-up will receive a prize of 20,000 euros. We will also distribute a maximum of four 10,000-euro prizes.

The competition is open to all and distributed into three phases:

1. Idea search: November, 2017 – March, 2018

2. Further development of best ideas: April, 2018 – September, 2018

3. Awarding winners: November, 2018

The decisions will be made by a jury. The judges are:

  • Santtu Elsinen, Chief Digital Officer, Alma Media and board member of the Media Industry Research Foundation
  • Mikko Koivisto, Customer Experience Director & Lead Service Designer, Hellon
  • Tero Hämäläinen, Chief Executive Officer, Conmio
  • Petri Rajahalme, Senior Advisor, Business Finland (previously Tekes)
  • Noora Pinjamaa, Executive Director, Media Industry Research Foundation

Implementing the contest

Idea search

After the kick-off, the idea search phase will commence. Applications for ideas can be submitted through the foundation’s grant system, through an application form that has been adapted to the innovation competition. The form will be updated as needed. A consulting company will be used for classifying and evaluating submitted ideas.

Between 8–10 of the best ideas will make it to the continued development phase.

Continued development

In the second phase of the competition, the foundation will support owners of the chosen ideas in developing their ideas and in drafting their business plans. During earlier rounds, a budget of 80,000–100,000 euros has been allocated for this purpose, depending on the amount of applicants admitted to the final contest, and outsourced services. In connection with the previous competition, the final contestants were offered sparring while drafting their business plans.

In the last section of the competition form, applicants are asked what the presenter of the idea needs help with: communications, business plan, or product development. This information can be used when deciding which kind of sparring to offer contestants, in the continued development phase of the ideas of the selected contestants.

As a counterpart to the foundation’s support, the idea developers are to document their own developmental process in a blog.

The prize phase

In the third phase, the competition winners are selected. 140,000 euros have been reserved as prizes. The prize is intended for commercialising the idea. Before payment, the winners are to provide the foundation with a plan for using the prize, a payment plan and progress reports.

Prizes

The Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland will award the winner with an 80,000-euro main prize. The prize for the runner-up is 20,000 euros. In addition, a maximum of four 10,000-euro prizes will be awarded.

Grounds for evaluation

The ideas will be evaluated based specifically on their innovativeness and novelty value, and their implementation potential. The credibility of the realising team and the clarity in presenting the idea will also affect its evaluation.

Competition schedule

  • Competition kick-off 11/14/2017
  • Submission of ideas on or before 03/04/2018
  • The selection of the best ideas (7–10) and their publication on or before 04/20/2018
  • The development phase of the best ideas 04/20–09/30/2018
  • Selection of the three best ideas during October/November phase
  • Publication of winners in November, 2018

References

  • [1] Idean Mobiilimarkkinat (Idea’s Mobile Markets) 2016, Snellman
  • [2] Stat Counter 2016, http://gs.statcounter.com/press/mobile-and-tablet-internet-usage-exceeds-desktop-for-first-time-worldwide
  • [3] Smart insights, 2017 http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
  • [4] Pew Research State of the News Media report 2016