If you haven’t heard from us for a while, it’s been because we were busy and extremely focused with our tight resources. This has been mainly about two things: 1.) Developing a product that we love, and that we hope you’ll find as mind-blowing as we do. 2.) Building and expanding our network of trusted publications from all across the continent, polishing our offer, improving our content procedures.
That was then. This is now. Now, we’re lifting off.
Several dozen of fine individuals, from our personal and professional networks, have already onboarded themselves for a limited, privileged, but unique Kompreno experience. We’re still evaluating their feedback, and preparing our plan for further action, but the essence is this:
Our website got a facelift. Our subscription service is ready for the reveal.
Astronauts have frequently described how their perspectives changed fundamentally after returning from spaceflight or orbit. Looking at Earth from far away leaves them with “an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness” or “an ecstasy of unity” with every inhabitant on it, as Apollo 14 pilot Edgar Mitchell put it.
Researchers have looked at this phenomenon and are describing it as the “Overview Effect”.
Author Frank White has written a popular book on it, and we can recommend Benjamin Grant’s impressive TEDx talk, where he calls “Earthrise” (pictured above) “one of the most important photographs of all time”. Grant quotes the astronaut who took it, recalling the experience: ”We went to the moon, but we actually discovered Earth.”
This notion – that we have one planet, are one civilization, in the vast blackness of space, with finite resources – inspires us. We’re passionate about building technology that brings people closer together. We believe that if we want to change the world, we should widen the perspectives with which we all can see it.
That’s what we are providing with Kompreno: The “Overview Effect” for everyone. A diversity of stories from the most reliable, trusted sources. The experience of immersion into other cultures without necessarily having to travel or having to master every language. Better understanding that leads to more empathy for one another.
We’d like to thank the organizers, who’ve done an amazing job hosting the Summit, as well as PwC and Next Mannheim for generously sponsoring the prizes.
And now, we couldn’t be prouder. Winning this audience at one of Germany’s top business schools, and sweeping the decision of the jury, composed of startup experts from PwC and several VC firms, means a lot to us. Our pitch deck was selected from almost 50 entries, and we took home the award after an intense final with five strong contestants, many of them with amazing maturity.
We take this as validation of our business, but also as an encouragement to work even harder.
Hosted by the University of Mannheim, Q-Summit is “Germany’s most important conference for entrepreneurship and innovation solely organized by students.” We look forward to coming back next year, as part of the line-up, to reflect on our journey as our start-up.
We hope that our website expresses the passion we pour into our product. But we do all this for you – not for ourselves. So: Who is Kompreno aimed at?
Many times, we’ve heard that the world has become more complex and confusing in recent years. The big challenges of our time are global, the Coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis, digitalisation and globalisation, the fight against poverty, migration.
Kompreno addresses all those who, in the face of such a variety of topics, won’t stick their heads in the sand, but remain open, stay curious: now more than ever!
That is why you are interested in an outside view: How are Germany and Spain dealing with the rising numbers of infections caused by new Coronavirus mutations? Are schools and kindergartens open in France? How do people in Italy see the situation in Austria, especially in the border area?
All this – and much more than fits into a short blog post – you will discover with us. Without having to understand all the languages of Europe!
We provide topics of conversation. Not just for a quick OMG and LOL or fleeting Likes, but for the family brunch next Sunday, the lunch break with colleagues or the workshop with your international project team. If we give you a reason to call your friend from school exchange again, the college friend from your exchange semester, or the colleague from that project you did together in Zurich back in the day – then, we have fulfilled our mission.
Our small team will make the best newspaper texts from all over Europe available to all of you: personalised to your interests, and translated into your language. In one single, high-quality digital subscription with excellent usability (B2C). And with a novel business model that opens up additional sources of revenue for all participating publishers, so good journalism can refinance itself fairly and sustainably (B2B).
An Interrail pass for the digital sphere. For a world without language barriers.
I have been carrying the vision of such a start-up around with me for 15 or 20 years: Bringing cool innovations to the mainstream, using technology in a meaningful way, bringing people together, educating, doing good. I am convinced that the time is just now ripe for it.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Media Lab Bayern for the initial funding, to dozens of interview partners, to our advisory board and to the countless people who have given us impetus. The last few months have been a wild, great ride. And now we’re just getting started.
With Paul, Alexandra and Marcus, I have found the highly specialised and interdisciplinary comrades-in-arms whose unique combination of talents and experience will hopefully make us unbeatable.
However, this means it is also time to say goodbye to OpenText. I am very grateful for their inspiring technologies, the fascinating people, the loyal customers and the dedicated partners I have had the privilege to work with. I have learned a lot from you. You have enriched me.
And now, back to Kompreno: I want to cordially invite you to become a subscribing member from day one. Let’s stay in touch. Register here.
As soon as you can read this, a dream has come true for our team. In five European languages, we present our comprehensive concept of a single membership to read the finest newspaper texts in Europe.
From now on, you only have to master one language: your own. (Which does not mean, of course, that we are implying that you aren’t curious. After all, with Kompreno you can also look up translations in the original at any time).
In addition, our team would like to take this opportunity to thank Media Lab Bayern, which supported our founder with a fellowship. There you will also find the background story of our project (unfortunately only in German at the moment).
The launch of our website is another milestone for us and a reason to celebrate – but only for a moment. There is still a lot to do.
It’s good to have you with us. We hope you enjoy it!
Alexandra Núñez, Marcus Lindner, Paul Maibach and Jochen Adler.