Late November 2018 around 60 innovation-enthusiasts from broadcasters and media companies were presented a showcase from the European Sandboxes and startups / intrapreneurs that collaborate in the Sandbox Hub of the European coordination and support project MediaRoad. In MediaRoad a Sandbox is a media innovation accelerator in which groundbreaking ideas can be tested and scaled. The MediaRoad “Sandbox Hub” sets up a European network of such accelerators.
At the pitching event, 6 Sandbox Hub members and 8 startups took turns to present their aims and results. Sandbox representatives from existing Sandbox Hub concepts were present (e.g. BBC Taster and Next Media Accelerator) as well as coordinators from newly initiated Sandboxes who are currently developing their projects (e.g. ERT in Greece and RTP in Portugal). The participants embraced the opportunity for networking and to visit startup demonstrations and further bilateral discussions.
The following video summary gives an insight into the event.
Practical insights and learnings from the Sandbox activities were presented, specifically the DO’s and DON’Ts to successfully kick-off such innovation accelerators. Key success factors for setting up a Sandbox, amongst other things, are direct and intensive communication between the start-up and the business unit involved, full support from the top management, availability of personnel resources at the broadcaster and a minimal budget.
The Sandbox concept can lower the threshold to actually embrace innovations and works with a “closed wallet” principle. Participating startups / intrapreneurs are provided a safe environment to test and develop their product and receive broadcaster’s expertise and coaching, as well as access to internal and external networks (leading to an increased visibility of the product / development).
Under the MediaRoad umbrella, a European network of Media Innovation Accelerators is being created. Since the start of the MediaRoad project, 10 additional Sandboxes have already joined the Sandbox Hub and discussions with more interested broadcasters are ongoing. Sarah Geeroms (Project Manager VRT Sandbox International) explained that setting up a local Sandbox is not that difficult; Sandbox members get support from MediaRoad to help them in successfully organizing such an initiative.
Broadcasters throughout Europe so far have shown a large interest and the ongoing requests exceed the expectations.
Event materials are available for download here.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 761412.