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The Innovation division and the MediaLab (the innovation structure for the News department) designed and implemented an internal start-up accelerator, with the help of Cap Digital and in partnership with the start-up Newsbridge.

After a selection panel, Newsbridge was selected to follow this 4-month acceleration program including :

  • being hosted within the editorial team from 23rd October 2017 ;
  • a « sponsorship» by a manager from the News department ;
  • the co-construction of a solution for indexing the shootings thanks to artificial intelligence, and a semantic search engine ;
  • an experimentation phase ;
  • supporting the start-up in its growth;
  • co-financing the project to reward the startup’s commitment.

 

The results of a 4-month acceleration

 

At the end of the 4-month acceleration, in accordance with what was expected and thanks to the cooperation of the internal teams, Newsbridge has developed a real-time indexing tool. The images analysis makes it possible to recognize faces (and thus detect celebrities), objects, logos and texts. In addition, this solution will soon make it possible to index content using speech-to-text.

Tests performed during the final weeks of acceleration proved :

  • journalists, editors and documentalists showed a growing interest for the experiment (55 participants, instead of 40 initially planned) ;
  • a real satisfaction with the tool developed to date (89.5% satisfaction) based on criteria of image analysis quality, time savings, etc.
  • a strong wish for implementing the tool, considered relevant to the activity (92%).

 

 

Key success factors

 

This first experience of an internal start-up accelerator within France Télévisions is a success in terms of :

  • open innovation and collaboration with start-ups, thanks to a program more in phase with internal needs ;
  • commitment of the teams from the Digital, News and IT departments ;
  • employees acculturation to digital and innovation issues.

 

The success of this first experiment is based on :

  • a clear promise : an acceleration program for the start-up, which could benefit from a support to grow, to develop and to experiment new functionalities with its end users ;
  • a proper need, well-defined with business teams, which allows the development of a solution responding to a real issue about the way news is produced ;
  • a balanced partnership between France Télévisions and Newsbridge, in which every stakeholder has something to win. The role of Cap Digital as a trusted third-party has to be underlined ;
  • the maturity of the startup, its product and above all its teams (humility, ability to listen, pedagogy, responsiveness and commitment) ;
  • an inclusive approach that enabled the involvement of the News teams in the co-creation of the tool and explains their high satisfaction with the solution’s performance ;
  • a co-investment, which is motivating for the startup and which empowers internal teams ;
  • the incarnation of the project by the frequent presence of the startup in France Télévisions, which concretizes the project and especially encourages discussions for the benefit of a best-suited solution to the internal needs.

 

What’s next

 

This experience validated the principle of an acceleration program, its relevance, its usefulness and the commitment of the teams inside the company. France Télévisions should now capitalize on this success to amplify the program, maybe by hosting more start-ups.

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