Sanoma Corporation

Project Skills

  • business & concepts
  • design & art
  • education
  • media & communications
  • social science

Project Blog

The brief

The Commerce Accelerator is the third innovation Accelerator at Sanoma, a European Media & Learning company. We challenge 200 participants – half from within Sanoma, half Students – to come up with new ideas in the field of digital commerce. The participants will learn the latest in lean development and business model innovation by following sessions from top speakers. They will get to develop their ideas with the guidance of experts, and for the best, build it in an intensive, all-expenses-paid bootcamp in Amsterdam. All at the same time, the participants get to show their talent to the leaders of Sanoma, with the chance of getting recruited to turn their idea into a real business. And of course, have a lot of fun throughout the Accelerator.

The background

Digital commerce (buying/selling/renting that happens online) is a key business area for Sanoma, whose portfolio includes leading price-comparison services (incl. Kieskeurig and, online classifieds (Auto Trader, Oikotie) and marketplaces ( With services like Fashionchick, Sanoma helps consumers find products and drives business to online stores. Businesses in the domain can occupy many roles, from lead generation to actual shipping & customer service, but Sanoma is not actively looking to play a part in the fulfillment part. We are looking for new ways that the reach (audience) and trusted brands of Sanoma can play a role in the future of commerce.

The problem

People turn to media to get inspiration and information for their purchasing decisions. This means there is a growing opportunity for media companies to take advantage of this role in commerce with new digital services. Areas like performance-based advertising, affiliate shopfronts or commerce linked to editorial content can be the new core businesses of media. At the same time advertising is changing, and media companies need to engage their audiences with ads that are relevant, beautiful and interactive. In the Accelerator, we are looking for product innovations: what types of new services can we create to facilitate commerce? What is the advertising of the future? We are aiming for disruptive and radical concepts, not incremental innovations.