General Terms & Conditions

A: The Start-ups on Air competition is organized by DW Akademie (subsequently named DW) and funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It will be launched on 27th November. The deadline for submissions is 15th December.

The competition is open to participants over the age of 18 years at the moment of registration. Journalists working in one of the project countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan) whether independent or representing a media outlet are invited to participate (hereafter referred to as “eligible persons”).

DW managers, jury members, and the people they live with are not eligible to participate. 

Entrepreneurs with a format idea can participate as advisers to journalists. For participating in the IdeaLabs of the Start-ups on Air Conference they will be offered a coaching program which will be realized in 2022.

The Start-ups on Air Competition seeks to identify the best format ideas developed by journalists working in one of the four project countries. Ideas need to be characterized by an innovative approach and must not have been realized in this way in the respective country before. Format proposals have to be submitted as complete concepts. They must be in the pre-marketing stage and must not have been offered for sale. More selection criteria are specified in the Q&A section of the Start-ups on Air website. 

B: To participate, eligible persons must:
  • Access the competition website and click on the registration button.
  • Create a user profile and access the competition section on the project platform.
  • Propose a format to be realized, partly or fully, in one of the project countries (Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, or Algeria). An idea can only be submitted by one person (that might represent a team). Teams must present their team members in their proposal. 
  • Submissions must include a concept and a pitch in Arabic or English. Additional requirements can be found in the Q&A section of the Start-ups on Air website. 
C:  Proposals will be accepted between 27th November 2021 and 15th December 2021 on the competition platform Participants must register on the conference platform ( and  create a user profile on the competition platform (
  • Format proposals must be at a minimum in the design phase (pre-prototyping).
  • There will be one winner per country announced by 21st December, who will receive a prize money of up to 1500EUR. Beneficiaries must send all contractual documents signed back by 26th December in order to receive the prize money.
  • One main winner will be selected in January 2022 who will receive a financial production support of € 15.000 € and coaching on the job by experienced DW Akademie trainers to realize the winning idea in 2022.
D: DW Akademie cannot protect any content developed during the IdeaLabs of the Start-ups on Air Conference. All submitted ideas are the property of the applicants. No company, organization or entity other than the registered applicant can claim prerogatives on the intellectual property submitted in the framework of the Start-ups on Air competition. Participants are recommended to declare pre-existing relevant intellectual property (format ideas) to the organizers of Start-ups on Air prior to the conference.
E: Competition

Stage 1: Submission until the 15th December 2021 at the latest and announcement of selected format ideas until 31.12.2021. The winners (one winner for each country) will each receive a prize money of € 1,500.

The selection criteria are:

  • Innovation: The level of innovation of the idea, the format must not have been developed and broadcast yet or contain a new approach.
  • Feasibility within planned budget and timeframe until 2022.
  • Financial sustainability.
  • Consideration of the needs and interests of the target group.
  • Entertainment value.
  • Adaptation to the media market of the respective target country.
  • Implementation: What is the implementation and promotion plan for the product in the future (roadmap)?
  • Project team and collaboration: degree of collaboration with the target group, ability, and motivation to ensure the continuity of the project (Besides the creation of new formats, collaboration and co-creation are main project goals). 

Stage 2: One main winner will be selected in January 2022 (precise dates will be communicated later). The winner will receive a production aid of € 15,000 and will have the opportunity to continue developing the prototype during the implementation period during March 2021 – December 2022. A prototype must be produced until 31st December 2022. The production phase will be accompanied by a coaching on the job by experienced DW Akademie trainers. The main prize will be awarded after the submission of a concept of production. Terms of reference will be established by a consultant.


1. In order to be declared a winner, the selected participant must meet the following conditions:

Each of the winners must meet the eligibility criteria and all other requirements mentioned in these rules. To receive the prize money, they must sign an agreement which will be sent to them after the announcement of the winners. 

Non-compliance with one of the conditions mentioned in these rules will lead to disqualification. In this case, the prize will be canceled or awarded to another participant.

In case of rejection of the prize by the selected participant, DW will be released from all obligations towards this winner and has the options of withholding the prize or awarding it to another participant

2. Verifications:

All registrations and submissions are subject to verification by DW. Those which are incomplete, inaccurate, illegible, mechanically reproduced, mutilated, fraudulent, or transmitted late, containing invalid contact details, may be rejected and will not be entitled to the prize.

3. Disqualification in case of unfair conduct or non-compliance with rules:

Any person participating in Start-ups on Air or attempting to participate by a means contrary to these regulations and of a nature to be unfair to other participants (example: computer hacking, non-declaration of intellectual property of others) will be automatically disqualified and could be referred to judicial authorities. Likewise, proposals that have not respected the implementation and pre-commercialization (priming) statutes will be disqualified.

4. Intellectual property:

The intellectual property of format ideas developed during the Start-ups on Air conference and submitted for participation in the competition belong to the participants. It is the responsibility of the participants, if they use pre-existing intellectual property elements, to ensure that they have full ownership of them before using them within the framework of Start-ups on Air.

5. Acceptance of rewards:

The production support must be accepted and may in no event be transferred in whole or in part to any other person, substituted for any other prize, or exchanged for money, subject to the decision of the organizers at their discretion.

6. Limitation of liability – Use of the prize

The winner releases DW from all responsibility for damages that may arise from participation in Start-ups on Air, acceptance, and use of the prize. The winner acknowledges that upon receipt of the production support or the letter confirming his prize, the performance of the obligations related to the production support becomes the sole and exclusive responsibility of the various suppliers of products and services. The winner undertakes to sign a declaration and exemption from liability form to this effect. The winner of a prize recognizes that the only warranty applicable to it is the usual manufacturer’s warranty.

7. Limitation of liability – Exceptional situation

DW will not assume any liability of any kind in all cases where its inability to act results from a fact or situation beyond its control or from a strike, lockout, or any other labor dispute in the establishments of organizations or companies whose services are used for the holding of this competition.

8. Limitation of liability – Participation 

DW will not be responsible for lost entries for any failure of the website for any reason during the duration of this contest, including any damage to a participant’s computer or mobile device. 

By participating in or attempting to participate in the competition, any person releases DW from any responsibility for any damage that they may suffer as a result of their participation or attempted participation in the competition. 

9. Modification of the competition:

DW reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend, in whole or in part, this contest in the event of an event or any human intervention that may alter or influence the administration, security, impartiality, or running of the competition as provided for in these rules cannot be held responsible. 

10. End of participation in the competition:

In the event that, for any reason whatsoever, participation in the competition should end in whole or in part before the end date provided for in these rules, the award may be made, at the discretion of DW, among the registrations duly recorded and received until the date of the event that ended participation in the competition.

11. Acceptance of the prize:

By accepting the prize, any winner authorizes DW to use, if necessary, their names, photographs, images, voices, places of residence, and declarations relating to the prize for advertising purposes, without any form of remuneration. 

12. The paragraphs:

If a paragraph of this regulation is declared or deemed illegal, unenforceable, or anywhere by a competent court, then this paragraph will be considered to be null, but all the other paragraphs which are not affected will be applied within the limits permitted by law. 

13. The competition is subject to all applicable laws in Germany.
14. Personal information:

The personal information collected from the participants will be used only for the purposes of the Start-ups on Air project. 

15. Decisions:

Anyone who participates in Start-ups on Air agrees to comply with these regulations and the decisions of the organizers who administer the project.

For any further questions, feel free to contact