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Open-data incubator for Europe Odine hands out €650,000 to seven startups

Odine – an open-data incubator involving the Open Data Institute – has awarded €650,000 to seven European businesses

Seven European businesses will get European Union (EU) funding after being selected in the first round of the Open Data Incubator for Europe (Odine) programme.

The incubator supports European startups and SMEs using open data. €5m is still available. It is one of three initiatives the EU put €14.4m into in November 2014.

The Open Data Institute (ODI), the University of Southampton, Telefónica, The Guardian, Telefónica Open Future, Fraunhofer, Open Knowledge Foundation (Germany) are combining to deliver Odine. New startups will be recruited every two months on a rolling basis, until August 2016.

The seven

The first tranche of grant winners are:

  • CommoPrices, a French web portal which publishes over 1600 commodity prices, based on open data from French Customs;
  • InSymbio, an Italian business-to-business e-marketplace which aims to turn one company’s bio-based residues and waste into another company’s raw material;
  • BikeCitizens, and Austrian company that offers an app based on OpenStreetMap to cyclists in 200 cities;
  • Instats.co – an Estonian web service that visualises large datasets to create presentations;
  • Thingful, a search engine for the internet of things (IoT);
  • Sickly, a UK company which gathers open data on the spread of infectious illnesses among children;
  • Pikhaya Smart Streets , a service that assesses the business potential in empty commercial properties in deprived urban centres.

Jeremy Mabbitt, co-founder of Sickly, said: “We started Sickly to gather important open data on the spread of infectious diseases.  Now we’ve proven our concept – with rapid take-up and an enthusiastic response from schools and parents – we couldn’t be more delighted to win Odine’s recognition”. 

Gavin Chait, founder of Pikhaya Smart Streets, said: “Our communities and high streets depend on stimulating the growth of new independent businesses. The support of the ODINE programme will help Pikhaya Smart Streets to use open data to deliver a free market research service to entrepreneurs”.

The incubator is modelled on the ODI’s startup programme, which has supported 25 companies, 13 of whom have “graduated”. Together these companies have secured over £8m in funding and investment since joining and employ over 110 people.

Ulrich Atz, startup programme manager at the ODI, said: “Our first Odine winners are using open data to create solutions that otherwise wouldn’t exist – everything from the tracking of infectious disease, to creating an e-marketplace for bio-waste.”

The Odine-supported companies get advice, peer support, data management training, as well as the funding, and additional exposure to investors.

Read more about the Open Data Institute

The Open Data Institute discerns evidence of “network thinking” in the startups and open data programmes it lauded in its 2015 awards

The Open Data Institute releases research showing open data is being used commercially outside London and beyond startup companies

Nigel Shadbolt, co-founder of the Open Data Institute

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