Berlin-based SME is seeking partners from the storytelling business for the development of their storytelling software as a joint venture
The German company is a Berlin-based SME, active in the field of software development. Its browser-based software (SaaS=Software as a service and customized white-label solution) has been developed to make storytelling easier. It helps authors and media companies to develop characters, an outline and the structure of a story and to visualize it. The company is looking for content creators, media companies and academic use cases for a co-operation within the framework of a joint venture agreement
Before any author can write the first line, he has to have an idea of the plot and characters of his story. The longer the story, the harder to organize all the events that comprise the narrative. To make a story emotionally effective, authors employ techniques such as foreshadowing and the distribution of motifs, which involves planning and structuring before the writing begins. Hence professional authors usually outline before beginning to write. Authors work with a variety of methods, mostly analog. Index cards stuck to a wall are still a popular choice. The software takes these processes online, with all concomitant benefits. For example, cards – each of which stands for a plot event or scene as determined by the author – can be sorted by switch into narrative order (the order in which the events are told) or chronological order, which even in a linear narrative is never quite the same. Tagging the event cards with information like which characters are present, the location, the motif, points of view, etc. means that the author can highlight and filter according to these criteria in order to work on them or check their distribution. Structure visualizations allow the author to view and work on the structure, story arcs or more sophisticated aspects like emotional trajectory or multiplots. Being web-based, the project may be sent to and opened by co-authors or an editor or producer for evaluation of the plot and collaborative work on it in real time. Visualizations make the SaaS suitable for the writers' rooms and story departments of film production companies.
The company is a Berlin-based German SME that provides browser-based software to help authors to develop stories out of ideas. Anyone who wants to write a story must have an idea for the plot and the characters before writing the first line. The company provides a neutral tool specifically tailored to the needs of storytelling. Authors of any media or genre can use this instrument to structure plots and develop characters. Basic functions are free on the website, premium functions cost a yearly subscription fee. For media companies such as publishing houses or film production companies the software digitalizes processes which are currently still analog: The software creates visualizations of the plot which help to evaluate exposés or drafts. As the software is web-based it enables collaborative work on a plot. Hence the software is a powerful tool for editors or producers. Furthermore, when trading story rights, the visualizations can help to sell a story. The company plans to adapt the software to other fields and applications such as non-fiction, business storytelling, exhibition planning, etc. The company is also discussing academic uses of its software with universities in Europe. The software captures structures and sequences of events rather than text and form rather than content. So it may be used for comparative analyses. The company can also provide a neutral, generic, universal version of the software. This means the user can capture sequences, save multiple orders for these sequences, connect individual items in the sequence (which remain connected whatever order is chosen), tag items with data in order to highlight and filter the sequence items according to these data. They are looking for partners who use the software in real use cases. The firm is willing to cooperate within the framework of a joint venture agreement as follows: 1) Media companies, film productions, publishing houses, games developers, etc.: Any organization that tells stories or deals with narrative can benefit from the software provided. The company is looking for use cases across all media, genres, and formats. The partner would use and test the software and play a role in its further development. Use cases could be at in content creation or in trading story rights. 2) Academic institutions in the field of narratology, comparative literature, media or cultural studies: Any research on how stories work, on their structure and the meaning of a story structure may benefit from the analytical possibilities which the software offers. For example it would be possible to create a database of story structures – not the texts, but the narrative outlines. Since the software is browser-based, collaboration irrespective of physical location is easy. The company is interested in use cases as well as insights into the nature of stories with a view to optimizing the product. The SME offers team licenses for smaller media companies, which reduces cost per capita. For larger studios, the software may be installed on their own servers, functions customized according to the studio's needs, and the front end branded in the company's corporate design. Such a white-label version, tailored to the use case, gives the studio complete control.
J.58.1.9Other publishing activities
The SME is looking for partners in order to cooperate on the basis of a joint venture agreement: Role of media partner: to give its employees or partners (freelancers, agencies) access to the storytelling software via the partner’s team account or the customized enterprise solution installed on the partner’s server. The partner would receive either team account license or customized version of the software at cost price, which would be significantly cheaper than commercial price. The partner would in exchange provide feedback on the product, helping to improve it for the market. Benefits for the partner would be: 1) the much cheaper price, 2) direct access to the makers, with the chance to shape the product and possibly create a version especially suited to the partner’s needs, 3) early access to an innovative and potentially disruptive product that might change the way stories are created and traded, with all the benefits of being the first to have it, 4) potential cooperation on a DIN spec standards project on storytelling terminology and visualization, etc. Role of academic partner: to give students, researchers and staff access to the story-analysis software via the partner’s team account or the customized enterprise solution installed on the partner’s server. The partner would receive either team account license or a customized version of the software at cost price, which would be significantly cheaper than commercial price. The partner would in exchange provide insights gained from research using the software, helping the makers of the product to understand the theory of stories and narratology better, as well as help the makers understand academic needs and processes in order to create a version of the software suited to such uses. Benefits to the partner would be early access to a powerful tool that may be shaped to suit specific research projects on the structure of stories ancient and modern, as well as potential cooperation on a DIN spec standards project on storytelling terminology and visualization.
Industry SME <= 10
The founder is an English-born media expert with a background in marketing books for top German publishers, and IT-expert who has successfully managed his own web agency. Two strategic investors are lined up.
Joint venture agreement