Data Pitch is a European-funded project bringing together established businesses and startups to meet today’s challenges with data.

Data Pitch provides world-class business support to European startups and SMEs including: up to €100K equity-free funding, expert mentoring, investment opportunities, and access to data from established businesses and the public sector.

Data Pitch also recruits businesses and other organisations to share data via a new, secure data innovation lab, based at the University of Southampton. The team – alongside a range of industry experts spanning from agriculture to health – helped define the challenges. Startups are encouraged to use this data to address the challenges by developing innovative products and services.

Successful startups were selected in October and November 2017, and the first cohort joined in December 2017. Each startup joins the programme for six months.

The ambition is to create an innovation ecosystem for Europe, where larger organisations work closely with agile startups to innovate and learn from each other, using data as an enabler to solve problems.

At the inception of the project, Elena Simperl, Professor at University of Southampton and Data Pitch project Director said:

Data Pitch will create a European ecosystem for data-driven innovation. In the digital age, every organisation – public or private, big or small – generates and owns substantial data assets. Not all of them have the opportunity to use this data effectively. With Data Pitch, we take an established open innovation model and apply it at European scale – we pair some of the most creative entrepreneurial minds in 28 countries and help them to solve data challenges that matter – for the economy, for the environment, for science, and for society as a whole.

Jeni Tennison, CEO at the ODI said:

Startups have the skills, agility and energy to create novel and innovative solutions using data. Corporates need to understand the benefits of publishing and sharing data to take advantage of this innovation and realise the efficiencies, product opportunities and increased productivity that effective use of data can bring. Data Pitch will allow both corporates and startups to experiment with ways of encouraging open innovation using data in a safe environment.

Data Pitch launched by running online and offline ‘datathons’ in Spring 2017, around themes including smart cities, health and wellbeing, and food and agriculture. Ideas for the datathons were crowdsourced and put forward by data providers, bringing together startups, data scientists and experts to work on a case during a hackathon.

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