Call for Pitches: Innovative Digital Solutions for Media Organisations in the Western Balkans

Call for Pitches: Innovative Digital Solutions for Media Organisations in the Western Balkans

WB6 MEDIA: Support to Media Freedom and Pluralism in the Western Balkans

#SustainMedia PROGRAMME

Call for Pitches: Innovative Digital Solutions for Media Organisations in the Western Balkans

SustainMedia is excited to announce the Call for Pitches for IT companies, Start-ups and freelance tec-enthusiast to pitch their business solutions that can propel the Western Balkans media organisations into the future. We are inviting innovative solution providers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia to partner up with at least one media organization and to submit proposals that can revolutionize media operations, enhance audience experiences and drive sustained growth.

In an ever-evolving media landscape, SustainMedia recognizes the importance of embracing innovation to stay ahead of the curve.  We are in search of innovative partners who can provide transformative solutions across different areas of media operations, including content creation, distribution, audience engagement, and monetization.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in collaboration with Internews and DW Akademie, is implementing a Regional Media Assistance Programme, in the Western Balkans, funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

This Programme aims to enhance the Capacities of professional independent media organisations to better adapt to the changing media environment, by helping to create modern high-quality content and appropriate business models thereafter. 

The program is working to achieve the following objectives:

1 - Strengthen capacities of media organisations to improve economic performance 

2 - Improve capacities of media organisations for quality reporting 

3 - Enhance regional exchange between media actors, tech companies and innovative business actors

Objective of the pitch

Identifying and enabling development of Innovative Solutions by encouraging technology partners to collaborate with media organisations and to propose innovative digital solutions that address challenges faced by media organizations in the Western Balkans.

Key Focus Areas for your Pitch

Your Pitch can address one or more aspects from the key focus areas listed below:

Content Management:

Content Creation Tools: Proposals should include innovative solutions for content creation, such as advanced editing software, graphic design tools, and multimedia production applications.

Organizational Systems: Submissions should address efficient content organization, categorization, and tagging to enhance accessibility and retrieval.

Distribution Platforms: Solutions that facilitate seamless content distribution across various channels, including websites, social media, and other digital platforms.

Workflow Optimization:

Collaboration Tools: Proposals should present tools that foster collaboration among team members, both internally and externally, by providing real-time communication and project management features.

Automation Technologies: Submissions should include technologies that automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows, optimizing the production process.

Integration Capabilities: Solutions should be capable of integrating with existing tools and systems, ensuring a cohesive and interconnected ecosystem.

Security Measures:

Data Encryption and Protection: Proposals should highlight robust data encryption measures to safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access. Another option could be ensuring Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions.

Cyber Threat Detection: Submissions should include advanced cybersecurity features, such as threat detection, intrusion prevention, and real-time monitoring to ensure a secure digital environment.

Compliance and Regulation: Solutions should align with industry regulations and compliance standards to ensure data security and legal adherence.

Analytics and Insights:

Data Analytics Tools: Proposals should introduce advanced analytics tools that provide insights into audience behavior, content performance, and market trends.

Predictive Analytics: Submissions should showcase predictive analytics capabilities to help anticipate future trends, enabling informed decision-making.

Customizable Reporting: Solutions should offer customizable reporting features to tailor analytics outputs according to specific business requirements.

Solutions for monetization:

Subscription Management Systems: Solutions should help media outlets to introduce and manage subscriptions, billing, and recurring payments for premium content or services. This system should support flexible pricing plans, metered usage, and customer retention strategies.

Paywalls and Membership Platforms: Developing and/or deploying paywalls or membership platforms that allow media outlets to offer exclusive content to paying subscribers. This platform should provide tools for managing memberships, creating tiered subscription plans, and tracking subscriber engagement.

E-commerce and Merchandising Platforms: Developing and setting up e-commerce and merchandising platforms that enable media outlets to sell merchandise, digital products, or event tickets directly to their audience. This platform should offer features for inventory management, order processing, and payment integration.

Target: Independent IT experts, IT companies and Startups from WB6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. 

No of Pitches to be awarded: 5

Grant Size: up to EUR 10.000

!Note: 10 shortlisted Applicants will be announced on June 14th, 2024 and invited to pitch their solutions live on June 24th – 26th, 2024  at  POINT 12 Conference in Sarajevo where the 5 winners will be selected by a Committee. The cost for the in-person pitching will be covered by SustainMedia Programme. 

Application modalities

The interested IT experts/companies can apply using the templates provided below, until 24th of May 2024 23:59 CEST

As part of the Application Package, the applicants will need to submit a Pitch Proposal, containing:

  • The Pitch Form (Template in this link: The Pitch Form)
  • Budget Form (Template: Budget Form
  • Reference letter from at least one media outlet in the Western Balkans that would implement the pitched solution.

The respective templates need to be downloaded, filled in, signed, and sent via email, in pdf format, to the following address:

  • Supporting Documents:
    • Certificate of legal registration of the applicant is registered – if applicable.
    • CV(s) of the staff that will be involved in the implementation. 
    • List of references of innovative solutions developed and implemented. 

The supporting documents need to be sent via email to the same address:

The Selection Process will be based on the following criteria for evaluation: 

1. Relevance for Business Model
2. Operational Requirements 
3. Innovation and Diversity
4. Budget clarity
5. Experience and Digital adoption
6. Upgrade and Adjustability
7. Support and Maintenance 
8. User Experience and Usability of the proposed digital solution

All proposals should safeguard the overarching principle ‘Leave no one behind’ of the 2030 Agenda. 

We look forward to reviewing your innovative proposals and collaborating with forward-thinking technology partners to elevate the digital infrastructure of media organisations in the Western Balkans. 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions in status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence