Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe 2021

Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe 2021

Deadline: September 20, 2021

Applications are open for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab Europe 2021. The GNI Startups Lab Europe supports high-quality reporting for local communities, single-topic audiences and/or previously underserved communities.

GNI, Media Lab and the EJC have built a six-month program 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.

Program Phases

The program will consist of three phases:

  • The Product Development Phase starts in November and continues until the end of December. You will learn how to develop your customer base further, how to refine your content strategy and how to utilise some basic innovation methods.
  • The Growth & Marketing Phase in January and February 2022 will support you in matters such as Visibility, Ad Sales and Leadership.
  • The final Business & Sustainability Phase in March and April 2022 will help you grow your startup to the next level by working with you on topics such as Recruiting, Finance and Investment.


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


You can apply 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


All Applicants are required to fill out the application form.

Of all applicants, 20 teams will be invited to participate in the Trial Run, a multi-day remote event taking place sometime between October 18, 2021 and October 24, 2021 (exact dates tba). The Trial Run ends with a remote Pitch Day, after which up to ten startups will be chosen to enter the GNI Startups Lab Europe.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit GNI Startups Lab Europe.