Open data startups get a €100k boost

Open Data Incubator for Europe funds seven startups to innovate with open data, with wide outcomes from tackling infectious diseases to publishing commodity prices

Seven businesses from across Europe will receive up to €100k EU grant funding after being selected as the first round of winners in a new programme: Open Data Incubator for Europe (ODINE). The programme supports European startups and SMEs to build sustainable businesses using open data. Up to €5m funding is still up for grabs, and will be split amongst 60 winning companies over the next year.

In addition to their grant funding, over the next six months the seven winners will receive:

  • expert advice from business mentors
  • networking opportunities and support from peers
  • technology and datasets
  • coverage in the Guardian datablog
  • brokering introductions to business angels and venture capitalists
  • training in open data and business management

ODINE is being delivered by the Open Data Institute (ODI), the University of Southampton, Telefónica, The Guardian, Telefónica Open Future, Fraunhofer, Open Knowledge Foundation (Germany). New startups are being recruited every two months on a rolling basis, until August 2016.

ODINE is modelled on the ODI’s highly successful Startup programme, which has so far 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. The next application deadline for the ODI Startup programme is 11 September (apply here).

The winners of the first round are:


Sickly is a company that gathers detailed open data on the spread of infectious illnesses amongst children. Parents can use its free app to securely report their child’s illness to his or her school. Sickly’s aim is to track infectious illnesses with this anonymised data, and support public health organisations in the fight against disease.

Thingful is a global search engine for the Internet of Things (IoT). It indexes dozens of public open data assets and millions of connected devices from temperature sensors and air quality monitors to sharks. Thingful is developing a service for IoT data transaction management to allow data owners to transact based on access entitlements. Thingful is also a member of the ODI Startup programme.

Pikhaya Smart Streets
This service offers market intelligence to help entrepreneurs and local councils assess the business potential in empty commercial properties in deprived urban centres. It aggregates open data on local consumer purchasing behaviour and pedestrian footfall, as well as existing local business rent and salary expenditure.


CommoPrices is web portal of business intelligence which publishes over 1600 commodity prices. Based on open data from French Customs, data is structured, selected and processed to generate benchmark price references.


InSymbio is a business-to-business e-marketplace that aims to make one company’s bio-based residues and waste another company’s raw material.


This company offers a platform for the urban cyclist community. The free Bike Citizens App is available for more than 200 cities in the UK and Europe, and uses [OpenStreetMap]( "OpenStreetMap" to offer offline navigation, route planning and tracking.

This web service helps people to find and visualise large datasets and easily create insightful presentations with them.

Ulrich Atz, Startup Programme Manager at the ODI, said:

Our first ODINE winners, some of Europe’s top innovators, are using open data in order to create solutions that otherwise wouldn’t exist. This includes everything from the tracking of infectious disease to creating an e-marketplace for bio-waste. ODINE aims to find and foster the best, sustainable open data businesses out there, and support them to fast-track the development of their products. We are confident that we are championing the best of European ingenuity, and eagerly anticipate more applications.

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. It’s not just about the funding, but also all the fantastic support that ODINE offers that make this such a great package for open data startups. It will be a huge boost to us as we now start rolling out our free service more widely, gathering much more data and seeing that it’s put to good use in improving public health.

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, giving them insight equivalent to that usually only affordable [for] branded chains.

Moeen Khawaja, Chief Operating Officer at Thingful, said:

With ODINE funding, Thingful will extend its Internet of Things search engine to include global civic sensor data and create a data classification based on ODI's 'Data Spectrum' to identify which sources are under 'open' licensing and extend its API for app development.

Martin Gross, Co-Founder at Commoprices, said:

Being part of the ODINE programme will allow us to expand through Europe by integrating more datasets from Customs departments across the region. In particular, we look forward to receiving advice on the reuse of data, developing new relationships with open data teams throughout the EU, and putting the significant funding to good use.

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