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CEE summary: Slovak Piano Media merges, green incubator in Latvia

Monetizing content is no easy feat for media companies. Even if they provide amazing stories and great information in an interesting form, they face challenges media owners could not even dream of 15 years ago.

One possible way to monetize is a paywall and digital subscriptions. Proof? The current success of two leading subscription companies, American Press+ and Slovakian Piano Media. Both companies have announced a merger this week with 3TS Capital Partners leading the deal.

“Paid content has enormous growth potential around the world. We saw an opportunity to acquire Press+ through Piano Media, our existing portfolio company, consolidating the industry’s two largest players and enabling the combined entity to have unrivaled resources, technology, data and knowledge to help clients further build new sources of revenue,” said Pekka Mäki, CEO of 3TS Capital Partners. Piano Media GmbH now serves more than 630 websites globally.

Green Innovation Incubation Centre launched in Riga

New incubator for green technology startups was launched in Riga – partly private, partly public. Its main financial backer is Norwegian industrial development corporation SIVA, which provides about 90 percent of the resources. Rest of the money comes from Latvian government fund.

The project is called Green Innovation Incubation Centre (GIIC) and aside from SIVA, two Latvian universities take part in it – Riga Technical University (RTU) and Latvian University (LU). The pre-incubation program offers a free mentor responsible for fostering team’s development, and after that, startups can apply for the support of up to 140,000 EUR with the chance to get another 35,000.

At the moment, there are first 21 ideas and startups in the incubator, all focused on green technology projects. Another batch is coming soon, second admission contest is running till 15th September. The incubator itself is planned to run till March 2016.

Venture conference in Belgrade

In reality, there is rarely such thing as too much money, and startup founders know this too well. That is why they often seek a wealthy backer, who can provide resources for development, scaling and marketing. And that is why they might want to attend conferences dedicated to venture capital.

Belgrade Venture Forum (BVF) will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, from 5th to 7th November. Organizers are awaiting more than 400 innovative entrepreneurs, investors, speakers and international delegates. Three day event represents the largest investment forum in the region with up to 35 entrepreneurs presentimg their ideas in the main competition.

Tip: how to master EU funding

And since we’re talking about financing, make sure you don’t miss this recent article about the basics of EU funding and how to approach it. EU might be offering money for your kind of startup and it would be a waste not to take it.