Creating a VC Fund for Open Data Start-ups

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Ryan Androsoff
Votes :156

Though the potential of open data is there, and we now have a huge amount of open data available for use from all levels of government, the promise of startups and civil society organizations being able to make use of that data in new and novel ways has largely remained unfulfilled. Hackatons are great, but there is need to go much deeper for real product development that need R&D and sustained efforts, and that requires funding. The past decade of the open data movement has largely focused on the supply-side; I would suggest it is time to start focusing on the demand-side. The idea: set-up a venture capital type fund that startups, civic tech, and civil society groups can access to be able to get the seed money needed to build products and find novel uses for open data. This will push how we traditionally think about procurement and partnerships in the public sector, but the time is now to do so. And it is not without precedent, for example see the Scottish Government's CivTech program:

Let's be bold and think about new ways to take the open data movement to the next level!

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