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Be an ODI startup
Part of the purpose of the ODI is to help startups unlock innovation using open data.
We have created a startup programme to help develop ideas into sustainable businesses.
Impacts and income – it's not about the exit
We are looking to support ideas that create economic, environmental, and social value.
It’s not just about creating venture-backed, exit-focussed startups: we will prioritise those who create the biggest impact (cf: work on stuff that matters).
It is about being sustainable. You have to get to the point where you are economically sustainable: either commercial revenue, supported by venture or philanthropic funding, or otherwise derived. We’ll help get you off the ground and ideally to the point where other funding can help you go forward.
Programme and funding
We’ve created a 3-tier programme that links broadly into:
- "impact” - demonstration of the potential impact and what is needed
- “sustainability” - demonstration of potential sustainability and scale
While we can’t directly fund startups, we have helped to identify and/or co-created some potential funding opportunities that match with these tiers, again broadly:
- TSB Innovation vouchers - £5k to collaborate
- DSB Immersion fund - up to £25k ‘pre-seed’
- TSB Catapult programme engagement - beyond £25k ‘match funding’
These are by no means guaranteed (they have their own selection processes), but we will help. They are also by no means the only funding routes: there are many.
We will score every idea numerically based on;
- The strength of the idea
- How does it relate to open data
- The strength of the person/team
- Does the timing seem right
- What is the size of the potential market / user-base
- What is the potential impact at scale (social, environmental, economic)
- Potential to generate sustainable income
What will ODI do to help?
The ODI Startup Service may include, but are not limited to,
- Mentoring and Support in business development, investment, management, sales, product, technical, legal, communications, finance, and related areas that the ODI may see as relevant
- Marketing and Networking the ODI may actively promote startups
- Facilities as may be defined from time-to-time including, but not limited to,
- up to one 'hot desk' per person - may be shared
(e.g. 2 people @50%, or 1 person 1 day a week)
- meeting rooms
We have 3 meeting pods, one larger meeting room, and one large conference room. All have projectors/displays.
- web access
We have a 100Mbps leased line.
- tea, coffee, fruit, (and recession crisps when available)
- use of shower facilities
- utilisation of space for events, workshops, client meetings, hackathons
and other pre-approved activities from time-to-time
- Events support including catering, staff, and marketing
(additional costs may be incurred for such activities)
How much does it cost?
While you are in Tier 1, nothing. Beyond Tier 1 we charge a service fee of £350 per month per person for our Startup Service.
How long do I get help for?
Startups should aim to move up the tiers within 3 months, ODI may extend this deadline at its sole discretion up to a maximum of 6 months. At each review point the startup must move up a tier, or gain an extension from the ODI, or move out (assume a few weeks reasonable notice). Mentoring and support time may be capped depending on needs.
Formal assessments will be carried out on a rolling quarterly basis without exception.
Why such a short period for the tiers?
If all goes well you could be here for nine months or more. The reason for the tiers is that we want to (a) put pressure on teams to deliver, ask for help if they get stuck, and help encourage decisions to be made, and (b) we have to ensure a turnaround and throughput to meet our own targets, and to ensure a broad range of people get the chance to engage.
NB: ODI reserves the right to vary these guidelines and its services on a case-by-case basis.
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