French President talks open data with ODI Paris and ODI Supporter, Snips, at exclusive honorary lunch

null null

FivebyFive, the Open Data Institute’s Paris ‘Node’, and Snips, an ODI supporter have today (25th April) been recognised as leading lights amongst France’s new wave of open data entrepreneurs. Kat Borlongan, CEO of Five by Five, and Rand Hindi, CEO of Snips, are two of just four open data innovators invited to an honourary lunch with French President Francois Hollande at the presidential palace where they will discuss how France can further support open data innovation.

FivebyFive supports organisations to build and deliver their open data strategies, this includes helping them to open up their datasets as well as reaching out to the right communities who can take that data to the next level. Snips enables connected products to offer a personalized user experience by turning location data into context.

The Presidential event comes in the same week as the Paris Conference on Open Data and Open Government where France joined the Open Government Partnership. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, ODI CEO Gavin Starks and FivebyFive’s Kat Borlongan all spoke at the conference about the potential for open data, and the importance of openness and transparency.

Gavin Starks, ODI CEO said

Open data in France has taken a huge leap forward this week. Today’s Presidential event with ODI Paris and Snips, and the fact that France has joined the OGP, show that the French government is acting to catalyse the huge business opportunities that open data can bring; to drive open innovation and better services for French citizens. We look forward to seeing the French government support startup companies working with open data to reach their potential.

Francis Maude, Cabinet Office Minister, welcomed France’s move to join the OGP in his speech and commented:

The Open Data Institute, started in London by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, is now operating here in Paris too. It’s a great example of how much we can do together. By operating across different countries, it can unlock the best supplies of data, generate demand and enhance our knowledge of its potential to address common issues.

Kat Borlongan, co-founder of FivebyFive said:

It's almost shocking how many complex problems open data can solve. It's a big step forward for FivebyFive, as a young startup, to be invited to sit down with the President over lunch and not just tell him but show him what we mean. It sends a strong signal to the open data community as a whole and makes us even more hopeful for the future.

Rand Hindi from Snips said:

It is a real honour to be invited to discuss such important topics with the French President. As a startup specialising in modelling how people and cities interact, we rely heavily on open data to build contextual models of urban environments. We can already predict passenger flow in public transport, car accidents and crime. The more data we can access, the more problems we can solve, thus contributing to making cities a better place to live.