GNI Startups Lab Europe is here.

Created in partnership between the Google News Initiative (GNI), German media innovation hub Media Lab Bayern, and the European Journalism Centre (EJC), the GNI Startups Lab Europe supports high-quality reporting for local communities, single-topic audiences and/or previously underserved communities.

Are you an early stage news organisation creating original digital content?

GNI, Media Lab and the EJC have built a six-month programme specifically tailored to the needs of content startups in Europe. 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.


Applications for the 2021 GNI Startups Lab Europe are now open. If you are an existing news founder or part of an early-stage digital news organisation, then we want to hear from you!




  • 28 July, 2021: We are live! Read all about the programme and the ideas behind it in our blogpost


  • 3 August, 2021 – 5pm CEST: First Q&A-Call. Have any questions about Google Startups Lab Europe? Ask them here! 


  • 20 September, 2021 – 11:59pm CEST: Application Deadline


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 monetisation. At the end of the programme, you will have improved your capabilities to sustainably provide your audience with high quality journalism.

The Google News Initiative will cover all programme costs, meaning the Lab is completely free of charge for all participants. We do not charge a fee or take any equity. All you need to contribute is your time and energy.

The programme is for founders and teams producing journalistic digital content who want to

  • Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to operate and grow a digital news business
  • Explore a major strategic opportunity, which can help you become more sustainable. Sustainability in the context of this programme is defined as the union of journalistic impact, operational resilience and financial health
  • You’re committed to public-service reporting with communities, not on communities
  • You’re committed to making your business idea financially sustainable as quickly as possible
  • You or your team are able to commit at least eight hours per week for six months to meeting coaches and trainers, as well as completing remote coursework.

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.

Please consider applying if you:

  • Are based in one of the following  European 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 program or increased earned revenue.
  • Focus on one or more of the following:
    • Public interest journalism
    • Closing an information gap
    • Serving a geographic-bound or single subject community
    • Serving an underserved community
    • Exploring new ways to deliver and/or monetise information

The programme will give ten teams from across Europeat the opportunity to participate.

All workshops and 1:1 coaching sessions will be held in English.

You or your team should be able to commit at least eight hours per week for the duration of the six months programme to meet with coaches and trainers, complete remote-live and asynchronous coursework and drive your project.

All applicants are required to fill out our application form, answer all questions and upload a pitch deck in English. You can find the application form here. 20 applicants will be selected to participate in our Trial Run workshop, at the end of which ten teams will be chosen to be part of the programme.

No, it doesn’t. You should apply to whatever opportunities are best suited for you at this moment –– applying to multiple ones will not help or hurt your chances of being selected. We do, however, ask you to disclose existing sources of funding during the application process.

We can’t guarantee that yet, since this is a pilot.  Each of the partners organising GNI Startups Lab Europe are experienced players in the support of startups, and each is committed to offering more iterations of the GNI Startups Lab or similar programmes, should the opportunity arise.

You will be able to edit your submission until the end of the application period on 20 September, 2021.

For all questions regarding the programme or the application process, please contact Media Lab Programme Manager Lena at There will also be live Q&A-Sessions regarding the application process ahead of the deadline. Check Media Lab Bayern’s and EJC’s social media for time & date updates.

For more information please open this link
Apply Here

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