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Europe-wide EC-Backed Accelerator For Data Startups Launches Today Offering €100k Equity Free Investment

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If you are a European data startup we have good news for you. As part of their Horizon 2020 program the European Commission are launching Data Pitch, a Europe-wide accelerator which will offer 50 data startups up to €100k equity free investment and the opportunity to work alongside big business to solve critical data challenges with disruptive tech.

This is not the first time that the EC has run a Data Accelerator. The Open Data Incubator Europe (ODINE), has helped to launch 57 successful projects, creating 268 jobs since launch in 2014.

Data Pitch is backed by a consortium which includes Lisbon based innovation organisation Beta-I, global data marketplace Dawex, The University of Southampton and the Open Data Institute.

The EC are committing €7.1 million to the project, which launches today, and €4.8 million euros to directly fund startups and SMEs over the next two years.

Besides the funding, selected startups will benefit from expert mentoring, investment opportunities, and access to specially curated data.

Applications for a place on Data Pitch will be accepted from first of July 2017, with the successful start-ups selected in October and November. The first cohort will begin in December 2017, lasting six months.

The ambition, says Data Pitch is to “create an innovation ecosystem for Europe, where larger organisations work closely with agile start-ups to innovate and learn from each other, using data as an enabler to solve problems”.

Alongside new start-ups, Data Pitch will also be asking established businesses and data organisations to participate in a secure data innovation lab to be based at the University of Southampton. The businesses, alongside a wide range of experts from sectors including agriculture and health will help to define the challenges for startups alongside the Data Pitch team, and the data will be made available to the start-ups to help them develop innovative products and services.

Data Pitch projects director Elena Simperl, a professor at the University of Southampton, says;

“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.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a greater startup-corporate collaboration across Europe”, says Ricardo Marvão, co-founder and Head of Global Projects at Beta-i.

To find out more about data pictures activities, you can visit the website here,  or attend one of their online or off-line “Datathons”, which will take place in the Spring, encompassing themes such as Smart Cities, Health and Well-Being, and Food and Agriculture.

Horizon 2020 is reportedly the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever and is offering as much as €80 billion euros of funding until 2020, as well as encouraging and helping to attract private investment.

ODINE, the 6-month incubator that ran for 3 years from 2014 attracted more than 1000 SME and start-up applications. 57 projects were chosen from 18 countries, creating 268 jobs, and unlocking €16 million worth of sales and investment.

Success stories include Green city solution, which helped to develop the city tree, a vertical wall of moss that helps purify polluted air; Bike Citizens, making urban cycling easier, who raised €90,000 of investment,  Plume Labs, an air purification PR and data company and imin, which provides data on local sports and physical activities using open source APIS.


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