General Publishers Association Awards Bookarang, Winner of Renew the Book competition

Bookarang improves book recommendations

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 for the publishing industry with ideas that spanned new ways to fund, discover and consume books.

The winner, Bookarang, specializes in literature analysis and content-based book recommendations. Their technology is already being used by three leading Dutch book retailer chains to allow for true personalization and discovery.

Wiet de Bruijn, the Chairman of GAU, was very involved in the program and served as a startup mentor. “GAU initiated this competition to bring new and innovative ideas to the publishing industry. The participants brought enthusiasm and new ideas and we provided valuable exposure to publishing insiders and tech entrepreneurs to help the teams clarify, build and expand their businesses. It was an illuminating experience for everyone involved.”

Bookarang was awarded 15,000 euros by the General Publishers Association after a final pitch competition and Q&A. The winner was chosen on the basis of the following criteria: (1) significance to innovating publishing, (2) biggest progress during program, (3) strongest business case, all judged by a jury consisting of GAU and Rockstart mentors. Second place was taken by Crumbled which won the public vote by the audience at the final pitching event.

To learn more about the Renew the Book startup competition visit

About General Publishers Association (GAU)

GAU is the leading representative voice for books (physical and digital) in the Netherlands. With almost 70 members we represent over 90% of the general book market. We represent our publishers in various institutions, we support our members by providing information on legal, economic and social matters and we lobby for their interests in politics in The Netherlands and Europe.

About Rockstart

Amsterdam based Rockstart ‘’The Global Startup Machine’, was founded in 2011 by Dutch serial entrepreneur Oscar Kneppers (formerly Emerce & Bright). The first Rockstart Accelerator program launched in 2012. To date, Rockstart has accelerated 68 startups in 7 programs: 4 in the web & mobile domain and 2 focused on the smart energy industry and 1 in digital health. Over 70% of Rockstart alumni (including 3D Hubs, Peerby and Deskbookers) have attracted nearly €20 million of funding from national and international angel and venture capital investors including Greylock Partners, Balderton Capital, XAnge Private Equity and Walvis Participaties.

Press contacts:

Wiet de Bruijn, Chairman, GAU +31 (0)6-53256955

Catherine Smith, PR, Rockstart +31 (0)6-84681747

About Rockstart

Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies.

Rockstart invests in early-stage startups from each of the three funds and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates, and the wider Rockstart network.

Rockstart has invested in more than 350 startups and its alumni value to date is more than €1.6bn. Rockstart is an international team of 45+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such asWercker,, Hubs.Com, Bouw7, iClinic, and s and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Bogota.

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