Enterprise Europe Network

Guided tours for the digital age

Thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network and Icelandic technical know-how, two former radio journalists from Germany are selling their multimedia city tours to iPhone users.

Through their Trier-based SME called audiobits, Markus and Ute Schneider-Ludwig produce audio books, podcasts and self-guided audio tours. For help building the business the husband and wife turned to the Enterprise Europe Network, based at the IHW/HWK Europa- und Innovationscentre. With 3,000 experts in more than 50 countries, the Network helps entrepreneurs tap into new and sometimes unexpected markets.

Using the Network's powerful business matchmaking database, Network expert Thomas Weinand came across an intriguing company, Locatify, a client of Reykjavik-based Network expert Kristín Halldórsdóttir at Innovation Centre Iceland. The smartphone technology start-up was seeking content providers in the niche virtual tour guide field.

The companies agreed to cooperate, inspiring the Ludwigs to create a multimedia iPhone tour of Trier. The 30-minute tour of Germany's oldest city, complete with maps and images, is led by fictional wine merchant Claudius Publicus and Medieval-era nun Sister Brunhildus.

Locatify co-founder Leifur Bjórn Björnsson believes that the timing is right for this kind of product. Judging by the success of this partnership, he may well be right. In the year's since they first made contact, cooperation has deepened between the two partners has deepened. Audiobits currently offers Locatify's app solutions to their customers in the German market. Meanwhile, Locatify has developed a treasure game solution for smartphones, making use of audiobit's concept of the tour-guided app solution. The companies plan to expand the collaboration to include other smartphone app solutions in the future.

Network activities go beyond identifying partners and nurturing fledgling partnerships. Gauti Marteinsson of the Innovation Centre Iceland points to the suite of benefits on offer: "The full range of services provided by the Enterprise Europe Network include assistance in technology transfer, business cooperation and commercial partnerships, organising company missions/ conference visits, matchmaking and brokerage events, support for innovation centres and networks or for clusters, as well as providing advice on funding and IPR."

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ICT Industry & Services