A recent new study from the Global Web Index found that more than 80% of consumers were consuming far more media than they did in the past, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This hints at a brighter future for investors funding promising startups in the realm of media and entertainment.
Ceretai and The Story Market are two such up-and-coming startups addressing the pressing needs of the 21st century. While Ceretai helps media houses and film companies monitor their media content for diversity and inclusivity, The Story Market connects freelance journalists all over the world with media outlets.
Founded by two friends from Sweden, Matilda Kong and Lisa Hamberg, the name Ceretai is derived from Laura Cereta, a 15th century feminist writer. Carrying her legacy and advocacy for gender inclusivity and equality forward, Ceretai is a startup that is thoughtfully implementing AI to help create an equal world that is accommodating of all.
While Kong and Hamberg knew each other since childhood, somewhere along the line, their paths diverged and both of them went on to pursue challenging careers in the realm of business development and software development, respectively.
In 2017, when the #metoo campaign unfolded in Sweden and real life accounts of abuse surfaced, Kong was hugely appalled and wanted to make a difference.
Kong always found mainstream media reeking with gender stereotypes. As someone who wanted to see more diversity and inclusivity on the screen, Kong felt deeply disappointed by the current state of affairs.
“I strongly felt that our unawareness of bias and our extreme prejudice towards women and equality were the root problems behind the traumatizing events that led up to the campaign. And I realized that there must be an arena where my passion for gender equality, my interest in technology, and my education – a combination of technology and business development – could be put together to solve this,” said Kong.
After interacting with several people over time, Kong realized that many noticed the lack of diversity on screen. That was when she stumbled across Hamberg. As soon as their opinions coincided, they decided to put their professional skills to use. Kong’s business acumen, combined with Hamberg’s tech savviness helped them launch Ceretai.
Currently working with German and Nordic broadcasters, Ceretai offers a diversity dashboard which applies AI to monitor gender distribution and diversity quotient.
From diversity reports to comparing various episodes or films, Ceretai is capable of giving powerful insights to help gauge the level of gender inclusivity. At a juncture where people of colour and LBGT spectrum are still subjected to discrimination in various walks of life, making them a part of mainstream media is a sure-fire way to make them feel better welcomed in our society.
In this internet-driven world of ours, freelancing has opened up a number of economic pathways for creators and publishers to connect. The Story Market is one such viable marketplace for publishers to buy the work of top freelance journalists without a hassle.
Born out of the experiences of Lena Späth, the founder of the company, The Story Market was created with a vision to bolster high-quality, unbiased, and fair journalism.
Back in 2017, Lena wrote a book on interior design (Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design in Iran) and was working on the PR campaign of her book in Iran. As part of her PR efforts, Lena tried approaching foreign correspondents in Tehran, but to no avail. She discovered that the prevalent bias against Iran had not only prevented foreign correspondents from covering the reality of the country, but also hampered the truth from getting out.
That was when Lena decided to create an ecosystem where journalists and photographers could reach out to international editors and find an outlet to share their work.
While she previously worked as a research analyst for startups and consultancies, her co-founder, Doris Wiedemann, is a veteran in publishing digital lead with 15 years of industry experience in print, digital, and broadcast. Wiedemann is also an expert in digital transformation for media companies.
One of the unique offerings of The Story Market is perhaps the fact that the startup allows creators to sell their work and receive remuneration for having their work translated to other languages as well. This not only helps journalists and photographers reach a broader audience, but also helps them earn a handsome fee.
Founded by women entrepreneurs, Ceretai and The Story Market are two promising startups offering their services in this ever-growing, internet-centric time of ours, which are increasingly in demand.
Both Ceretai and The Story market have also been featured in the WiSE24 2020, an exclusive platform for women entrepreneurs to gain exposure for their startups, while also opening them up to promising investments.