GNI Latin America Innovation Challenge Launch Q&A Townhall

GNI Latin America Innovation Challenge Launch Q&A Townhall


MARCO TULIO PIRES:
Hello everyone. My name is Marco. And welcome to the town hall of
the Google Innovation Challenge in Latin America. I’m here with Ludo today. LUDOVIC BLECHER: Hello everyone. MARCO TULIO PIRES:
And we’re going to be answering the
most important questions about the Innovation Challenge. But first, let me speak
about the Google News Initiative, which is much
bigger than the Challenge. The Google News Initiative is
the effort across the company to really show what we’re doing
to help the journalism industry thrive in the digital age. And this is not coming
only for Google teams. This is coming from
Sundar himself. He says that Google cares
deeply about journalism, and it’s in the heart
of Google’s mission. It’s the mission of
publishers and journalists. And simply put, our
futures are tied. SPEAKER: Does that– MARCO TULIO PIRES: We’re going
to talk about how the Google News Initiative, as
well, is something that’s much bigger than
the Innovation Challenge. We have committed more than $120
million, about, for projects. And the Google News
Initiative has three pillars. The first one is
evolving business models. The second one is elevating
quality journalism. And the third one is empowering
newsrooms with technology. And as I mentioned, we
have committed $120 million in projects. And this is much bigger than
the Innovation Challenge itself, which shows
that we have teams around the world
supporting and doing projects and initiatives with
teams in the countries and news organizations in
over 70 countries to support journalism. And the Innovation Challenge is
just one of these initiatives. And I’m here today with
Ludo to talk about it. But first let me mention
that the GNI APAC Innovation challenge has just finished. And we had over 200 applicants. And 23 projects were selected. And Ludo, can you give
us a couple of examples of what kind of projects
were selected in Asia so that folks here
in Latin America can also see examples
of what projects might be awarded here too? LUDOVIC BLECHER: Sure. I’m happy to share that a bit. Just to introduce
myself quickly, I’m the head of GNI Innovation. So I’m leading the program. And you can sometimes be lost
when we speak about GNI, DNI, LATAM, APAC. To make it clear, APAC,
it’s Asia Pacific. So the GNI Challenge program
is open call for projects that we are doing
in the regions. And we’ve done the first call
for projects in Asia Pacific. It was a very specific
call for project because the focus was
around reader’s revenue. As Marco explained, we
received 215 projects. And we selected 23 projects
all about the topic of reader’s revenue. And what was really
surprising for us is the diversity
of ideas we add, diversity of
projects we received on such a kind of narrow topic. You can have the feeling
that reader’s revenue is just about business model
and just about paywalls, getting money from subscribers. But it’s much more
diverse than that. So we selected 23 projects from
Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Australia. And I’m going to mention
a couple of projects. So, for example,
we had this idea of creating a rewarding approach
for the member of a website so they can then
self-promote the website and be content ambassadors
for the website that want to spread the content. So it’s really
engaging the community to make sure they
are the one doing the promotion of your content. We have another
example, in India, where a startup created
by two young students really wanted to solve the issue
of adding premium content only dedicated to people that can
afford it, that can pay for it. So they created
something, a kind of small tools,
a small tool that is positioned in between the
paywall and the locked content, and that would offer
everyone in the audience to achieve a task in order
to unlock the content. So rather than
paying for it, you do a task, for example,
you fill a survey, or you just register
into something, and then you can
access the content. So it’s a way to do
content discovery. We had the first
paywall in Nepal. Because something
that is very important when we talk about
innovation, we don’t want to define innovation. Innovation depends of
your starting point. Innovation depends of the
local media landscape. So we expect everyone that
is applying to explain why his project is innovative. And you can see that the range
of projects is very diverse. I will mention other
examples later. But now, let’s go back to
Marco with the announcement and something that we
are already proud of. Marco. MARCO TULIO PIRES:
And thank you, Ludo. And as you may have heard,
we have– on the next slide, you will see, we were very
proud to announce the Innovation Challenge here in Latin America. We announced it on June 6. And it is a big opportunity for
everyone to come up with ideas. Sometimes you have an idea
that you want to take it off of the paper, but you
don’t have the resources, you don’t have the
political will, or you don’t have the
opportunity to do it. And the Innovation Challenge
is actually this opportunity to take the ideas that
you have with your teams to really innovate and give
you the space to do more. So we announced this challenge. But the challenge in Latin
America is a little bit– is a little bit different from
the challenge in Asia Pacific. We have a different
theme, and we have– it’s a different idea. And I would like to
invite you back, Ludo, to talk about more specifically
about the challenge in Latin America, how the challenge is
different from the challenge in Asia Pacific, and
what exactly is that that we’re looking for in terms
of the challenge, the theme, and what we can do,
and what we cannot do? So Ludo, please. LUDOVIC BLECHER:
Thank you, Marco. And yes, I will walk everyone
through the application process and share tips. One thing that is very
important that you explained, Marco, we’ve tested
this challenge approach in Europe and in Asia Pacific. Why are we doing that? We are doing that because
we want to stimulate ideas. We want to stimulate innovation. And what we’ve heard from
everyone in the news ecosystem is that sometimes you lack
time and money to do that. And sometimes the most
important is the time. Daily operation are
really time consuming. All the focus is there. And the application
process in itself gives the opportunity to step
back from the daily operation, brainstorm with the
team, build a vision, and come with an idea. And that is the most important. So consider the
application process as an opportunity
and the funding as a way to unlock innovation. But the most important
will be taken out of the application process. So first, eligibility. And one thing that
is very important, I’m going to explain, know
all the rules and criteria. Please, use the chat
window to ask questions. You can write your question. Please try to write
it in English. But this is fine if it’s
in Portuguese or Spanish. Marco will handle it. So write your question. And we’re going to take all your
question in about 15 minutes after my quick presentation. And Marco, always feel
free to jump on in and to clarify and
to add your thinking. So first, eligibility. When we speak about
the news equity stand, this is not a buzzword. We’re seeing that stimulation
can come from everyone. So basically everyone,
you can be a startup, you can be a
traditional newspaper, online, online-only player. Whoever that have an idea
for news and a project is eligible to apply. You just need to be
registered in one of the Latin American
countries that is eligible. Almost all countries
are eligible. So just have a registered
entity, even very small, and you’re eligible to apply. In terms of focus, yes,
it’s different than what we’ve done in Asia Pacific. We go for something
a bit broader. So the focus is
around projects that help to build a more sustainable
ecosystem for the development of new business model
and new news product, so focus new business
models, with an “S–” so business models
can be multiple– and new news products
with an “S” as well. So why do– what
do we mean exactly? Next slide, please. Yes. So what do we mean? So, first, we are
looking at ways to diversify revenue streams. It can be through direct
payments coming from readers. It can be, of course, paywalls,
subscriptions, membership. It can be also micro
payments, the creation of a digital news currency. It can be a membership
or [INAUDIBLE] registration program. It can be indirect payments. You would have
sponsorship-sponsoring bundle that you’re going to do
with other publications where you are bundling content,
and you have bundle offers. It can be a relationship
with a non-news subscription entity that will bundle
an access to your content. We are also looking for new
digital products and sources. And I will give some examples. But it’s basically the creation
of a specific new product that can be a standalone
product or a new vertical, a new feature you are adding
to your current offer. And it has to have a very
specific packaging and way to interact users because it’s
about also increasing the user engagement, increasing
the time spent on your website, mobile
app, or any devices that you are offering,
increase the pages per visit, the loyalty, and, of
course, the number– the conversion
rate, for example, in a subscription model. I’m going to take now– if
we can go to next slide, I would like to share
some inspiring project. Those are taken from what we’ve
done in Europe through the DNI fund. And you can absolutely go on
our website, the Google News Initiative website, and look
at our DNI program or the GNI challenge we’ve done in APAC
to look at some projects. We have more than
662 projects listed on DNI section of our website. And this might be really
inspiring for you. So first example,
this is a project that has been done by your
local publisher in Austria, a pretty big local publisher,
local and regional. And they wanted to increase the
engagement on their website. And they had the feeling that
gamification approaches that are very often
used on mobile can be relevant for news
content as well. And they basically created a
reward and gamification program where when you like, when
you add to a favorite, when you comment, when
you share your expertise, when you participate in
any way to the propagation of the content or to the
core creation of the content, you are rewarded for it. And for that, they created
a specific currency. And that works very well. So it also gave
opportunity to create a new kind of commercial
partnership with brands. Another one which is more about
the creation of a new news product, we are in Ireland. And this is coming
from “The Irish Times.” “The Irish Times” realized
that an important part of its audience was coming
from overseas, and especially from America. And they had the feeling,
looking at the metrics, that those people didn’t
consume exactly the same content as their audience in Ireland. So they decided to
create a specific product with specific vertical or
specific dedicated part of their website and
their application for this specific
audience with content that is repackaged for the
purpose of serving better what this kind of
audience is consuming. New specific features, new
specific services [? pull ?] specially created for and
tailored for this audience. And they would have also a
specific monetization approach of this audience. So that is an example
of a new product. Let me share no more, I would
say, technological example because that’s important
to have in mind that sometimes innovation
is really about technology, cutting edge technology. And sometimes the innovation
is not around technology, but more on the business model. So I want to share
here an example of a technological innovation. We are in Belgium. It’s done by your
“Financial Weekly” that is very strong online. And they have an important
number of subscribers. But they wanted to serve
better their subscriber and make sure once
they’ve subscribed, they would really
consume the content. And they wanted also
to reduce the churn. For that, they
realized they had to go into the creation
of niche content in order to serve very
specific audiences. And it was complicated to
create specific content at scale for very niche audiences. So they used a
computing technology to create content automatically. Social artificial intelligence
and machine learning, they are creating
content automatically about market stock
and about sport. Because when you have
aggregated data such as for market, and for stock
exchange, and for a sport, it’s pretty easy to produce
automatically small pieces of content that they created. And they create content on
very, very niche topics. People can subscribe
to it and receive five or more newsletters a
day that are automatically generated. Of course, the purpose is not
to replace the journalist, but to free journalist’s
time so journalist can really add value and provide
in-depth analysis that goes with these
automated content that is just giving insights about
very niche and specific topics. Next one, please,
it’s called REMP. And I’m sharing this one because
this one has a huge ecosystem impact. We are in Slovakia. And the publisher there
realized that when you want to shift and to pivot
into a paywall model, sometimes you don’t have all
the tools to do it, especially when you are a
small and medium newspaper. So when you are
small, you sometimes need tools that are not the
same as the big ones are using. So they decided to create
a specific tool kit, so a set of tools for
small players that want to pivot into a
subscription model. And it’s not just about
creating a paywall. They’ve created a paywall, a
mailer, a customer relationship manager, and a data
analytics system that predicts both the churn for the
subscribers and the propensity to subscribe for the audience. All those tools are
made open source, so you can just go on GitHub
and use it, download it. So it’s fully open source. This is why it has
an ecosystem impact. But for them, it has a
huge impact as well in terms of business model
because first, they are using all those tools internally. And second, they provide support
and service for a small company that want to
implement it and that needs to have technical support
even if it’s open source. So interesting project
because it both brings value in terms of revenue creation
and also gives the opportunity to have a huge
ecosystem approach that can benefit to everyone. So back to the Latin
America challenge, how does the funding work? So first, Google will fund up
to $250k for selected projects. But we’re going fund up to
70% of the overall cost. What does it mean? It means– MARCO TULIO PIRES: That’s
US dollars, right Ludo? 250k US dollars. LUDOVIC BLECHER:
US dollars, yes. Sorry, 250,000 US dollars. And it’s up to 70%
of the overall cost. You will have to provide
an overall budget. And we can take up
to 70% of it, which means that we can say
no to the project, we can say yes to the
project, full funding, and give the funding
you requested, or we can lower the
amount of funding. And on the 30%
part you will have to afford to put on
top of the project, we are actually not
asking for dollars. We are not asking for money. We are asking for resources. So, the [AUDIO OUT]
side, it’s allocation of resources, which might
include engineering, equipment costs, marketing expenses. But on the Google side, we are
not funding editorial costs. You can put forward some
journalistic resources only on the 30%. Very important to understand
that we are funding projects. We are not funding the overall
operation of a company. We are funding projects
that should be specific. And we are not funding
pure content creation. So do not apply just for a great
idea about an investigation piece. There are many other
initiatives for that. But with the GNI challenge,
we are funding the overall product, or project, or product
that is about technology, that is about
packaging of content, circulation of content, about
mobile, about business model, about sustainability, but
it cannot be just content creation. If you are a big
group, you can send up to three projects and
maximum one per brand. So to make it clear, you have a
specific brand, specific title, just one project. If you are a group, up to
three projects, one per brand. Important, applications are
submitted in English only. But when you go on
the website, you will see all the rules, and
criteria, and the explanation in Portuguese and Spanish. So you can totally prepare
in your own language. You can even use Google
Translate if you want. It’s not an academic contest. But the application is
submitted in English only so we can
review more easily. One last thing, the
project is yours. Google is giving money. We are stimulating
the ecosystem. We are giving the selected
projects, the selected recipients their own DIP. And the challenge are
not about Google product. Feel free to use Google
product if you want, but you don’t have to. There is no requirement. And you own the
intellect property– intellectual property
of a project. Next slide, please. So what we are looking
for is specific projects. Again, should be around
digital or online news. But the project should be
something really focused, ready specific. It’s not just supporting
your overall operation, your modernization roadmap. It’s about innovation
slash transformation. It’s not just the current
digital modernization or roadmap or just supporting
what you are doing. It’s giving you the
chance, giving you room to try new things. So that’s the opportunity. And the project can be focused
on one specific organization, or it can be collaborative. And actually, we really welcome
collaborative approaches. So feel totally
free to collaborate with other publishers in your
region, with new startups, with academics, or with
publishers in other countries. Collaborate with
anyone you want. We really welcome those
kind of approaches. Next slide, please. So in terms of
eligibility, again, I would say very
diverse, so all ideas within the topics of business
models and new news product are eligible. But again, we are
not funding projects limited to content creation. It cannot just be modernization,
so not just upgrades of legacy publishing system. We are not funding training
of education on any program. Part of your project
can be around using training or education. But the whole focus cannot
be training and education. This is not something we are
funding through this program. And we need to
have something that demonstrates the potential
of sustainability. You cannot be sure,
but share indicators. If it’s about a business
model, share monetization plan. If it’s about increasing
reader’s engagement, share metrics. And we are not funding projects
that are just about research. Now, let’s have a
look at the criterias, the criterias we’re going to
use to assess the project. Basically, we are looking
at four criterias. The first one is the
impact, impact on you, on your organization, and
impact on the ecosystem. And I mentioned previously the
REMP project, an open source project. Of course, by nature,
an open source project has an impact on the ecosystem
because everyone can use it. But there isn’t– it’s not
mandatory to be open source, of course. There are many ways to have
an impact on the ecosystem. You can collaborate. You can do something that
has never been done before. Or you can do something
that has been done before, but you do that in a new way. You have new ways to
approach [? scenes. ?] So explain to us
why do you think it has an impact on the ecosystem. Second criteria is, of
course, innovation and use of technology. Again, sometimes innovation
is about technology and sometimes not, so feel free
to be innovative in many ways, but explain why it’s innovative. Then we look at the feasibility
with the team [? behind. ?] What is– how do you mitigate
the risk, the kind of numbers you are providing? So again, provide business
plan, provide indicators. And be consistent. Don’t always ask and
shoot for the cap. You don’t need to ask 250,000
US dollars if the project can be done just with $50,000. Try to be consistent. Aim to build a prototype,
a minimum valuable product, and explain to us how
you are doing that. Then the inspiration, how do
you plan to share the learnings and to inspire others? Next is the governance. Basically, how does it work? To make it short,
the project team– Marco is part of
the project team. I am part of the project team. We will just review
all applications. Many people will review
and read all applications. We will discuss all
the applications and make a first shortlist. Once we’ve done a
first shortlist, we will start having
conversations with applicants, with shortlisted applicants. We will conduct interviews,
ask for additional information, and then we will make
another shortlist. We will produce
a recommendation. And we will present the
recommended project to a jury. The jury will be made
of Google executives and also experts
from the industry. And based on our
recommendation, they will take the final decision. They will vote and
take the final decision and oversee the
overall operations. Next slide, please. Now very quickly, have a look at
the application, how it works. You go on GNI website, the
Google News Initiative website, there is a section called
Innovation Challenges, and you will find Latin
America application section. You have an FAQ,
Frequently Asked Questions, and then you can click and see
the page you have currently in front of you, which
is the application form. What I suggest is just click on
the PDF of the application form and print it. Even if it’s not very digital,
just print it and take time to brainstorm with your team. To work on it, use any text
edit document you want. Start answering, go
in depth, think really about what you want to share,
explain why it’s innovative. And when you are happy and
proud with what you’ve done, just copy/paste it in the
application form and submit. This is basically what
I recommend you to do. So a couple of tips for
applicants, really take time– next slide, please, Irene– takes time to spend
time on our website. Read the terms and condition. Read the frequently asked
questions carefully. It’s both in Spanish
and in English. Have in mind that we are
aiming to form a project that will be executed
in about one year, so no more than
one year execution. This is the intent. Of course, if it’s one year
and a couple of months, we are not going to
withdraw the funding. But it would be a
conversation because we really want you to execute quick
to learn quickly and then decide to scale or pivot. So one year execution. Collaborative projects
are really welcome. Include clear indicators. Think about the impact
on the ecosystem. And how do you plan to
share the learnings? If you have [? an ?] agent,
you can reach out to the team. We are happy to
answer questions. The email is
[email protected] [email protected] You still have about 10
days, even 12 to apply. So there’s still time
to really brainstorm. Don’t rush. But it’s time to work
on this very seriously. The application window will
close on July 22, July 22. So again, step back,
print the application, start brainstorming
with the team, break the [? silence. ?]
Everyone in the company might be involved. And that’s super interesting
to share with others. And go on our website
to be inspired and to look at the
eligibility, and the criterias, and the questions, and
the application from. Website address,
g.co/newsinnovation. Email again, if
you have questions, [email protected] There is a typo here. So it’s
[email protected] We are now going to
take some questions. I’m going to hand
over to Marco again– MARCO TULIO PIRES:
Yes, thank you. LUDOVIC BLECHER: –because I
think we have questions now. And I have to– MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah,
we have lots of questions. We have lots of questions. Thank you, Ludo. I tried to group the
questions into categories. So I’m going to try to
organize them as best as I can. But keep asking
questions in the chat. We’ll try to answer as
many questions as we can. So first, Ludo, first
we have questions about the number of projects
and related questions. So [? Gilberto ?]
[? Schofield ?] asked the question about– he says our project involves
three fact checking partners– three fact checking
platforms in Latin America– Chequeado from Argentina,
[? Agencialupa, ?] and [SPEAKING PORTUGUESE]
from Brazil. Can just one platform apply
in the name of the others? LUDOVIC BLECHER: So it’s
actually how it works. When you have a collaborative
project, what you should do is always have a lead applicant. And when you fill
the application form, you will have to select– you have a selector
where you can say if it’s a
collaborative project or an “individual” project,
so without any collaborators. When you select the
collaborative project, the lead applicant or
the one that is filling, will have to list the partners. And you can even add partners
after, along the way. That’s totally fine. And the way we’re
going to handle it, if the project is selected,
we sign the contract with the lead
applicant, only one. The partners are listed. And the lead applicant is
managing the relationship on both sides, on the Google
side and with the partners. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Right. There’s also another
question from Henrique Gomez. He asks whether teams
and companies can submit more than one project? LUDOVIC BLECHER: So
teams and company can submit more
than one project, but they don’t have to. I think it’s always
about being consistent. So first, let’s
start by the rule. So this is the rule. A group of publishers
that have many brands can send up to three projects,
maximum three projects, one per brand, one per title. If you are a small company
with just one brand, it’s maximum one project. So three per group,
one per brand. MARCO TULIO PIRES:
When you say a group, you say like a
media conglomerate that has lots of newsrooms
under its arms, right? LUDOVIC BLECHER: Yes, but they
need to have different brands. So imagine a media group,
a publishing company that have three different
news brands, a daily, weekly, and a financial paper. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Or a TV
channel, or a radio station, right. But it’s within– in group. When you say “group,”
it’s not like a group that was formed especially
for the challenge. LUDOVIC BLECHER: No. But, I mean, people can
do whatever they want. The only thing, if
you create a startup specifically for this
challenge because you– you need a registration
number to apply. You need to have a
registered entity. If you set up a startup and then
you apply, that’s your call. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. That’s good that you mention
that because Lucas Meyer also asked whether projects
in the initial phase without a legal entity,
whether they could apply. And I think the
answer is no, right? LUDOVIC BLECHER:
The answer is no. You need to have a legal entity. But legal entity, of course,
it depends on the country. And I cannot provide
any legal advice here. So you need to speak
with legal counsel. But in many places, having
just something registered is pretty often very simple. So you need to have– to be registered at the
time of the application. It doesn’t mean you need
to have all the business up and running. By the way, [INAUDIBLE] you
mentioned that Marco, also another clarification. The project we are going to fund
should be early stage projects. So it can be done by
early stages company or very old legacy companies. But the project
itself should be early stage or should
be to be created. So it can be a good
design prototype model, but it cannot be something
that is fully up and running at the time of the application. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Right, so not
an idea that’s already ongoing, and you want to update or fund
a new part of this idea that already exists and is
already running, right? LUDOVIC BLECHER: No. MARCO TULIO PIRES: So a new
product, or prototyping phase, or projects that hasn’t
been executed yet. LUDOVIC BLECHER: Yeah. You can have a prototype. You can have a minimum
value added product. You can even use something
that is already up and running, and you would create something
pretty new out of it or pivot. But it cannot be just
expansion or extension. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Right. Just Lucas, I know
that you asked in the chat, Lucas
[? Pauline, ?] whether a collective
would apply in that group. So as long as you
have a legal entity, you can apply for the challenge. And like Ludo said, we cannot
provide legal assistance because there are many
countries in Latin America. But as long as you
have a legal entity, you are eligible to apply. Let’s move on to
questions around content. Luis [? Campusano ?] asks
whether niche sites are also eligible to apply. He has a anime and
manga news website. But there are other
questions, too, about health, or business [? even. ?]
Niche sites would also be eligible to apply, Ludo? LUDOVIC BLECHER: So,
it’s a great question. Thanks for asking. And so first, yes,
niche sites are absolutely eligible to apply. And also– I’m sharing
also personal [INAUDIBLE].. I think niche as
huge opportunities in terms of engagement, in
terms of conversion rate because they have a very engaged
audience, so for subscription model, for paid for
newsletter, or registration, huge opportunity for niches. Now, let me be clear. We are operating under the
Google News Initiative. And you explained before,
the Google News Initiative is Google framework for
collaboration and dialogue with the industry,
with the news ecosystem in order to help and
to build a sustainable future for the industry. So it’s made of many initiative. And the target is really
journalism, quality journalism, and [? so on. ?] It’s true
that our core focus will be closer to, let’s say,
news and current affairs, the mainstream
classical journalism. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Good
reporting, original content. LUDOVIC BLECHER: And
you have to produce, of course, original content. That said, if you are a
producer of a niche player that is close to news,
current affairs, that is doing real journalism, but
you have very specific topic closer to entertainment
and stuff, even if it’s not
our core audience, to be honest, if you
have a project that has a real impact
on the ecosystem, so everyone that is a
publisher can use it, and it can benefit everyone
because when you set up subscription,
churn rate program, or whatever, it can have an
impact for many news players, then you would score more on the
impact and ecosystem criteria, and you are eligible. So yes, eligible, but
then think about how you can compensate in
order to have something that not just benefits
your business but also the ecosystem. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. [? Cheago ?] Lobu, Agnes, and
[? Felip ?] [? Spec ?] ask questions about content and
whether Google would fund parts of the project or not. And I think I can take
some of those questions. So [? Cheago ?] asks, are
there specific funding lines for media education projects? [? Felip ?] [? Spec ?] said,
editorial costs means paying for content production. And Agnes asked whether projects
related to academic research and groups dedicated to
create content to vulnerable social groups, whether
they would be eligible. And also there was
a question about, would it be possible to create
something inside an existing platform such as web radio. And I like to say that,
as Ludo mentioned, we are asking
folks to be focused on the product, the new
news product, and also the new business models. If your project has an
editorial component that needs to be done
in order to produce the new product, and it’s
part of the strategy, or whether it has an
educational component, you can include that
in your product. But your project can
not be about education, it cannot be about pure
creation of content. We’re not looking
to fund projects that will be about
journalism investigation, or it’ll be a journalism
course, or purely research. Not that those things
are not important, but the focus here
of the challenge is to create new products,
to give you an opportunity to think about your
portfolio, and also to think about your
business strategy and think about new
business models. LUDOVIC BLECHER: So just to
echo what you are saying, first under GNI, the Google
News Initiative, we have many other programs
to support education, media literacy, and stuff. So this is why it’s
a broader initiative. But to give you a very concrete
example, because we fully understand that
there is a gray zone, and that’s why we are
asking you to explain. For example, if you are a
small startup, of course, your core project
will be basically what you are presenting
because you are very small, and that’s what
you are creating. So it’s going to be
an iteration of what you are trying to achieve,
an evolution of that. So there is a gray zone. Another example about
training, let’s say, training. If it’s just about training
journalists, not eligible. But imagine you are
a financial player, and you want to
create, to set up MOOCs, massive online
course, about whatever in your specific
expertise, and you’re going to make a
business out of it. If you ask us just to
pay for the content, it’s not going to work. But you can allocate
some of your resources to produce the content. What you can ask
us to support with would be the creation of all
the platform, all the system to generate MOOCs at scale. And if this platform
is, for example, open source and others can
use it, that’s even better. So if you generate a
business around MOOCs, that might be eligible, but not
only the training content part. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. We’re asking you
to take a hard look in your portfolio of products
and think about strategies and ways to diversify it
and create new opportunities and experiences as well. Mindful of time, Ludo, because
I know you have to leave soon, I wanted to ask
you a few questions that Maria Clara, Cabral
Gaston, Lucas Meyer, and also Henrique Gomez asked
about the application process and other tips, too. So Maria Clara asked,
when do we have to attach the 10
slides that we request? Gaston asked, are
there specific ways to package the products that you
would recommend or discourage? Lucas asked, projects
in the initial phase without legal
registration could apply? We answered that. And Henrique finally asked,
are there simple pitch decks that we can use as a reference? LUDOVIC BLECHER: How can you
have such relevant questions? Marco, do me a favor. For next challenges
in other region, and when we do online
in [INAUDIBLE],, let’s make sure we are using
those questions because they are very good. And I love them
because it demonstrates that the people that are
asking that, they have read, and they are thinking already. So very simple for the
additional documentation, which can be a business plan,
a pitch deck, or whatever you want to send, at the end
of the application process, you will see a box with
an email, which is, again, the LATAM GNI Challenge email. And you will send
an attached document in any format you
want, your pitch decks, your Word document, all
additional information. Even if we don’t answer, no
worries, we are looking at it. If you are shortlisted
for interviews, then we’re going to use it. And we might even ask for
additional information. So no worries, send
it over via email. Then, do we have– I take both– do
we have inspiration and what is our recommendation
in terms of pitch decks? We don’t really
have an inspiration, but you will look
at the FAQ, and you will see we suggest to structure
your deck the following way. And I think it’s
always interesting because it helps you
to pitch the project. Basically what is the problem? Everything starts
with, let’s say, a problem or an opportunity. What are you trying to solve? What are you trying to achieve? Why do you think it’s useful? How do you– our second slide,
how are you tackling the issue? What is your proposal? What is your offer? Then what has been tried
before, what kind of benchmark? And that’s totally
fine to say, others have tried to similar things. But we’ve seen that in this
market, it can be different. Than it goes to
the opportunities. Why do you think you have
opportunities– market opportunities, adoption
opportunities, business opportunities? An overview of the
numbers, and then something that is more why
it’s innovative, impact on the news ecosystem,
how do you plan to share? So it’s basically eight
to 10 slides very focused on the idea. Two simple tips for you. First, have in mind that at some
point for the selected project, Marco or myself will have
to go in front of the jury and to pitch your project. So we will be
advocating, pitching, explaining the project. Give us bullets. Give us all the elements to
understand so we can be good a advocate of the project. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah,
help us [INAUDIBLE] project to the jury. LUDOVIC BLECHER: Yeah. And the second
thing, which is, I’m doing funding for projects
for more than six years now, and I think the
most common pitfall is that people are focused
on what they want to achieve. I’m a former journalist. I know how we want
to achieve stuff because we are frustrating
not to see this existing, but sometimes not enough focus
on the consumer, the reader, the audience. Try to explain your project
from someone that doesn’t know anything about digital. Try to explain what
will be the end product in very simple words
and focus on the end user. So that is my [INAUDIBLE]. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. And don’t worry– the
deck, the presentation needs to be in English,
but worry about your idea, worry about the project,
and make it easy for us to understand. And we will ask following
up questions– follow-up questions. If we don’t
understand something, we’ll email you back and
reach out to you guys. LUDOVIC BLECHER: Yes. And look, Marco, I think we
can even be flexible on that because this is a
question we add via email. If your prototype is
in your own language, in Spanish or Portuguese– MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. LUDOVIC BLECHER:
–that’s totally fine. Don’t translate a prototype
that you want to share. If your deck is partially or
even in Spanish or Portuguese, that’s fine. We can live with that. We can use Google
Translate as well. Other people that speak your
language are in the team. We are a diverse team. What we need is the application
itself to be in English. MARCO TULIO PIRES: Right. That’s a good tip, Ludo. Mindful of time, I know
we run out of time. LUDOVIC BLECHER: If we need
three more minutes, that’s fine, Marco. I can take five– MARCO TULIO PIRES: Yeah. I just wanted to reinforce
the point about the email that you can see on
the screen there. It’s the
[email protected] This is a real email. It’s an email– it’s an alias
that comes to my inbox, Ludo’s inbox, the rest of the team. And we’re always
answered your questions. So don’t feel– don’t
hesitate to reach out to us. The deadline is
the 22nd, 12 days. Make sure you send your
applications by then. And I think we’re at time. We answered all of the
questions that folks have asked. So thank you very much, Ludo,
for taking part of this. Also thanks Irene that’s on the
backstage helping us, setting this up. LUDOVIC BLECHER:
Thank you, everyone. Thank you, Marco. Thank you, Irene. And thank you for
all of you that attended this [INAUDIBLE] done
from Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Paris. So this is a true
collaboration on our side. Thanks for attending. Thank you very much. MARCO TULIO PIRES:
Thanks, everyone. Have a great week.

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