Google News Initiative Startups Lab
THANK YOU for your interest in the GNI Startups Lab for Europe! 🙏
The Lab is a six-months programme providing a number of independent digital news startups from around Europe with coaching and capital to help put them on the path to sustainability.


👥 ELIGIBILITY: 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.

📆 APPLICATION DEADLINE: 20 September, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CEST.

🙌 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.

If you have any additional questions, please contact programme manager Lena Jakat at
Email *
🦄 Team & Mission
For a start, we'd like to get to know you and your business a little better!
What's the name of your startup? *
What's your company’s mission? *
Tell us what you're doing! Feel free to do it elevator pitch style. (500 characters max)
Who is your audience? *
(500 characters max)
... and why do they need your product? *
Tell us about the problem you're solving, the need you're meeting for your users! (500 characters max)
What type of news content are you producing? *
Please choose the media type that is most prominent in your publication(s)!
Describe your journalistic product and the editorial profile of your startup! *
Write down some key points to give us a better understanding of your content. (500 characters max)
Name & link to one journalistic piece of work you’re especially proud of! *
Where are you based? *
Name country & city!
What's the best email address to contact you? *
Tell us about your founding/leadership team! *
(500 characters max)
Who will be the participants of the GNI Startups Lab for Europe? *
The programme is designed for participants from your leadership team, but could be a great opportunity for other key decision-makers in your news business. Please include names and email addresses! (500 characters max)
What languages do the participants speak and what's their level of proficiency? *
(1 = basic, 5 = expert level)
🧮 Business & Metrics
Of course we also need some facts and figures!
When was your business first launched? *
What will be your gross annual revenue for 2021? *
Please estimate!
Mark the percentage of your total revenue each revenue stream comprises.
Please check a box in every line
Direct ads
Branded Content
Consulting/Client services
Who are your competitors? *
"None" is not an answer to this question. Every startup has at least one competitor! (500 characters max)
How many people are currently employed in your company? *
Please count in all people, regardless if employed part time or full time.
Have you taken steps to ensure you are reflecting the diversity of the community you’re serving? *
If so, what are they? What work still needs to be done? (500 characters max)
What is one aspect of your internal operations that you're proud of? *
And why? (500 characters max)
What does success look like to you? *
(500 characters max)
How do you define sustainability for your news organisation? Do you consider your business sustainable right now? *
(500 characters max)
🌟 Programme & Commitment
And finally, we'd like to learn about your thoughts & expectations for the programme!
Have you applied for or taken part in other GNI projects or programmes in the past? *
If yes, please name them here!
Why do you want to be part of the GNI Startups Lab Europe? *
500 characters for you motivation!
What is one strategy or experiment you'd like to explore, but haven’t been able to because of limited bandwidth, knowledge or resources? *
What do you hope it would accomplish? (500 characters max)
What steps would you need to take to be able to invest your time and energy into this programme given its timeframe and your other responsibilities? *
(500 characters max)
Optional: Send us your pitchdeck!
If you have a pitchdeck, please send it to us by email (pdf filetype please!): Thank you!
Do you agree to the use and transfer of your stated information for the purpose of reviewing your application? *
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