Call for Applications in the Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe 2021

Are you an independently owned and operated start up that has been in operation for at least 6 months?

Then apply for the Google  News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe 2021 for a chance to have access to a grant of up to €25,000 as well as workshops, coaching and good networking opportunities.

Application Deadline: September 20 2021


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You will benefit from Media Lab’s experience in supporting media startups and from EJC’s extensive European network and active community: 

  • There will be workshops, coaching and high-profile networking opportunities.
  •  Additionally, as a participant you will get access to up to € 25,000 in grants for running revenue-generating experiments, should you need it.


You are welcome to apply if you

* Are based in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

* Are independently owned and operated 

* Produce original content that is primarily available on a digital platform(s) 

* Have been operating for at least six months 

* Earn less than € 500,000 per year in gross revenue 

* Can demonstrate some successes on the path to sustainability. Examples include increased site visits, a growing membership programme or increased earned revenue. 

 Applicants must focus on one or more of the following: 

* Public interest journalism 

* Filling an information gap 

* Serving a geographic-bound or single subject community 

* Serving an underserved community 

* Exploring new ways to deliver and/or monetize information 

We are especially interested in entrepreneurs who want to serve communities that don’t often see themselves or their stories reflected in their local news.

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Application Instructions

All Applicants are required to fill out our application form. You can find the application form here.

Of all applicants, 20 teams will be invited to participate in our Trial Run, a multi-day remote

event taking place sometime between 18 October, 2021 and 24 October, 2021 (exact dates tba).

The Trial Run ends with a remote Pitch Day, after which up to ten startups will be chosen to enter

the GNI Startups Lab Europe

Apply Here

About the Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe

The GNI Startups Lab Europe aims to help journalistic startups better understand their audiences, create higher quality content (text, audio and/or video) and navigate the pitfalls of monetization. At the end of the program, you will have improved your capabilities to sustainably provide your audience with high quality journalism.

  • Journalism first: A programme designed for those who bring great stories, breakthrough reporting and valuable services to their communities
  • In partnership with the  GNI, we make sure all participants have access to a budget to fund revenue-generating experiments
  • Great coaches help you get to where you should be – with advice tailored exactly to your needs
  • Available to early stage news organizations all over Europe
  • Huge international network of mentors, experts and talent.

Discover more opportunities from Google News Initiative (GNI).

Discover more opportunities from Media Lab Bayern.

Discover more opportunities from the European Journalism Centre.

Key Dates and Order of Program

Applications close on 20 September, 2021 – 11:59 PM CEST.

Trial Run: Oct. 18-24, 2021 exact dates tba.

Startup School: Nov. 8 – 19, 2021

Program launch for all Participants

First Pitch Day: Dec. 17, 2021

End of Phase I

Second Pitch Day: Mar 4, 2021

End of Phase II

Demo Day: Mar 2021

ACCEPTANCE: We’ll select 20 applicants from the initial pool, who will be invited to Trial Run, an audit workshop scheduled for the week 18-24 October, 2021. Trial Run will close with a Pitch Day and the final selection of 10 teams max. who will be part of the GNI Startups Lab for Europe.

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