What is Renew the Book?

Renew the Book is an exciting new initiative that launched in the Fall of 2015 to bring innovative companies and thinking into the Dutch publishing industry. Sponsored by the General Publisher’s Association (GAU), the program brought in 5 startups with innovative ideas in the publishing realm for the 5 week competition that included workshops, mentoring and pitch training. The competition culminated in a Finale on 9 December 2015 where startup competitor Bookarang was awarded the grand prize of 15,000 euros by the General Publishers Association. Sign up for our newsletter to stay abreast of Renew the Book’s 2016 plans

General Publishers Association (GAU)

Ever since the early ages, beautiful stories, original thoughts, poems and great ideas have inspired, moved, and engaged people because they were published. It’s our mission to keep on sharing these great stories in a way that suits the age of today. After all, new times ask for new ideas.

Wiet de Bruijn, President of the General Publisher’s Association (GAU), said: “Everywhere in the world publishers, whether in news, music or books, are seeing how digital has changed how we distribute, create and consume content. With the Renew the Book competition we want to stimulate change and are not afraid to admit that the best ideas might come from outside the publishing industry. I hope there will be revolutionary ideas among them.”

And so began the first Renew the Book startup competition sponsored by GAU.  With 5 startups, 20 mentors, workshops and insights from publishing industry disrupters, the program helped the teams hone and clarify their business models and get in-depth knowledge about the Dutch Publishing Industry.  To learn more about Renew the Book’s plans for 2016, please sign up for the newsletter.

Competition 2015

The Renew the Book 2015 Startup Competition is based on the well-known Rockstart Accelerator methodology incorporating industry insights, network and exposure over an accelerated 40-day immersive competition.

International industry experts, entrepreneurs and leading executives of the publishing industry guided participants Bookabook, Crumbled, ReadGeek, Nugget and winner Bookarang through the process of defining product-solution-fit, setting the product’s value proposition and pitch development for the investor audience. Renew the Book’s winner Bookarang was granted a 15,000 euro prize by the General Publishers Association.

Selected startups were provided with compensation for accommodation costs during the competition period in Amsterdam, a dedicated office space at Rockstart Spaces, and access to the renowned Rockstart community.  To learn more about GAU’s plans for Renew the Book in 2016, sign up for our newsletter.


We found the brightest people in the publishing industry prepared to bring your startup to the next level. Check their bios below.


AMSTERDAM – 9 december 2015 – De Groep Algemene Uitgevers (GAU), de toonaangevende belangenbehartiger van de Nederlandse boekenuitgevers, heeft vandaag Bookarang uitgeroepen als winnaar van de Renew the Book-startupwedstrijd bij Rockstart. In het unieke vijf weken durende programma, het eerste in zijn soort in Nederland, streden vijf teams om de titel. Het doel: innovatieve oplossingen […]

AMSTERDAM – 9 December 2015 – The General Publishers Association (GAU), the leading representative voice for books in the Netherlands, today announced Bookarang winner of the Renew the Book startup competition at Rockstart.  5 teams competed in the unique 5-week program, the first of its kind in the Netherlands, to pitch and build innovative solutions […]

Startup profile: Bookarang
November 26, 2015

Tell us about your startup and team Bookarang helps online book retailers to better serve their customers. We analyze and profile all books. This knowledge is used by book retailers to give personal recommendations and allow people to discover the books they truly love. Bookarang was founded by Victor, Frederique and Niels. While sharing the […]

Startup Profile: bookabook
November 25, 2015

Tell us about your startup and team: bookabook is the Italian crowdfunding platform for books. We use crowdfunding to create a community around books and give the reader the chance to fund the ones that haven’t been published yet, by giving them the power to decide into the editorial process. How did you come up […]

Startup profile: nugget
November 24, 2015

Tell us about your startup and team With nugget you get smarter in 5 seconds by swiping through the world’s best books. We are a team of 4 co-founders one content editor and many contributors who help us find the best nuggets. How did you come up with your idea? It was many bits and […]

Startup profile: ReadGeek
November 20, 2015

Today we interviewed Uwe from ReadGeek.  He’s the only team member currently in Amsterdam for reasons you’ll soon discover below. Tell us about yourself and your startup I’m originally from Berlin where I studied renewable energy and worked for an engineering firm for 4 years before the idea for this project. If you ever wondered what […]

Startup Profile: Crumbled
November 18, 2015

Now that the teams have had some time to get acclimated to the Renew the Book Startup Competition, we want everyone to get to know them better,  learn more about the teams and what they hope to achieve over the next few weeks….first up is Crumbled!  Tell us about your startup and team – We are Crumbled […]

Renew the Book Kickoff and Highlights
November 9, 2015

Finally!  It’s been a long wait since applications closed on 12 October to learn the identities of the 5 teams who would be participating in the Renew the Book startup competition.  On Thursday, November 5th the teams were introduced in true Rockstart fashion, with a party and pitch-fest.  Attended by publishing industry, Renew the Book […]

External News
Deze 5 startups gaan de boekenbusiness vernieuwen
November 6, 2015

Met 5 boekenstartups is Renew the Book van start gegaan. Het bedrijf dat in de komende maand het meest weet te innoveren in de boekenwereld krijgt 15.000 euro. Donderdag was de kick-off bij Rockstart. “We zijn een beetje verliefd geworden op deze bedrijven”, omschrijft de directeur van het programma Jan Paul Grollé de vijf deelnemers. […]

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Renew The Book

Renew the Book is an initiative spearheaded by the General Publishers Association (GAU) and powered by Rockstart to bring innovative startups and their ideas to the Dutch publishing industry. Starting in November, the Renew the Book startup competition will provide an intensive 40-day crash course in entrepreneurship with workshops, mentoring and more to 5 startups who are developing inventive ideas in the publishing realm.
Renew The Book
Renew The Book21/12/2015 at 3:28pm
Thank you for visiting Renew the Book. We're taking a short break and will be back soon with more information about our competition plans for 2016. To keep up-to-date, please sign up for the Renew the Book newsletter.
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Renew The Book
Renew The Book with Mandavi Ivadnam and 3 others at rockstart.14/12/2015 at 5:52pm
They came from all over. Changed and learned new things. And got ready to amaze you! Check out a small review of #renewthebook program and what our #startups went through! http://youtu.be/XePMiHC788M
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Renew The Book
Renew The Book11/12/2015 at 5:06pm
Highlights of the #renewthebook competition Grand Finale! http://bit.ly/1Qh5iDm
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Renew The Book
Renew The Book11/12/2015 at 3:29pm
Here Is President #Obama’s Favorite #Book Of The Year: http://bzfd.it/1QiOcow
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Renew The Book
Renew The Book10/12/2015 at 2:40pm
Behold the winner team! Congratulations Bookarang! Wish you all best. #renewthebook
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1016 BR Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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