NTT Data announces winner of UK regional heat for its ninth global Open Innovation Contest

The UK regional heat for NTT Data's Open Innovation Contest has been won by startup GeoSpock

Tech startup GeoSpock has been announced as the winner of the UK regional heat for NTT Data’s ninth global Open Innovation Contest.

GeoSpock, a location intelligence engine that enables organisations to manage petabytes of data at speed, will now progress to the finale where it will compete with startups from 18 other countries to win the prize of a three-month intensive business development programme sponsored by business and technology consultancy NTT Data.

The contest is NTT Data’s attempt to find and support businesses that can create solutions to one of the seven global challenge areas, which include healthcare and life sciences, finance, disruptive social innovation and data distribution.

The winner of the competition will benefit from NTT’s global customer network and IT infrastructure, as well as the chance to break into Japan’s highly competitive technology market.

“Our product is all about bringing contextual understanding to the everything-connected world, so receiving the backing of a major global business like NTT Data is massive validation of what we are trying to achieve,” said Richard Baker, CEO of GeoSpock.

“The Open Innovation Contest can be a massive springboard for our business, and we are looking forward to the chance of winning the grand finale in Tokyo.”

As one of nine companies that pitched to a panel of judges – a mixture of high-level NTT Data employees and industry experts – GeoSpock was chosen as the UK regional winner due to the power it has to discover new insights in data, with judges citing the startups potential to drive a hyper-connected future as the main reason for its victory.

Two other awards were also handed out. Kalypton, a cost reduction technology for the financial services industry, won the Sustainability Award, while Xetal, the creators of a mapping technology that tracks people and assets for a range of different applications, took home the Judge’s Award.

When deciding the winners, the judges looked at a range of areas, including the startups business plan, its synergy with NTT Data, its passion, as well as its potential for growth and scale.

Tom Winstanley, head of innovation at NTT Data UK, emphasises the importance of collaboration to Open Innovation 9.0: “The objective of this whole process is to find people that we can work together with, that are interesting and have something that they can bring to the table.”

“We have what we call a B2B-to-X delivery model – so it’s us providing platforms that are supporting our clients and their partners to provide services to consumers to support their B2B or B2C customers.”

Winstanley added that in this context, you cannot work without being part of an open and collaborative process in which all of the stakeholders benefit.

“What is crucial for us is always to find something where there is a win-win-win – something for us where we’ve got some value to bring, be that a platform or be it a set of services we’re providing; something for our customers in the industries we’ve talked about; and something for those for those startups.”

The other UK finalists were Elemendar, an AI startup that deciphers cyber threat reports; Exate Technology, a specialist in data protection technology; Hu:toma AI, an AI-powered “conversational” search platform; Minut, a smart home security system; Rainbird, an AI-enabled automated decision making platform; and Squirro, a modern cognitive insights engine that uses predictive analysis and machine learning.

The finale will be hosted at NTT Data’s global headquarters in Tokyo in March.

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