Sir Nigel Shadbolt, co-founder of the Open Data Institute and expert AI researcher handed out three awards to an entrepreneur, a start-up and a data provider who all took part in the Data Pitch accelerator.
Data Pitch was a European accelerator funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme to help start-ups and corporates share data and build sustainable businesses which drew to a close in September 2019.
The Corporate Innovation Award went to Greiner Packaging International for being a data provider that demonstrated the greatest support for the growth of the data economy through collaboration with five different Data Pitch start-ups.
Christian Mittermayr, Project Manager for Greiner, said: “Our motivation in joining Data Pitch was to find new applications for our data, and a lot of startups have very good ideas. Just looking at the data in new ways has helped us view our standard procedures in a different way. It was a unique opportunity to learn, and we would definitely recommend similar programmes to other companies.”
The Start-up Impact Award went to Recognai, a Spanish start-up which creates AI tools to tackle information overload within companies. Recognai worked with German Data Provider Uniserv to help improve its customer data management systems, using machine-learning. A year after taking part in Data Pitch, Recognai has continued to work with Uniserv and several of its clients.
Daniel Vila Suero, CEO and Co-Founder of Recognai, said: “Thanks to Data Pitch’s challenge, we found a real application for our technology, and we are carrying on working with Uniserv, which has been testing our model with a view to using the product for some of its clients. Recently, we started a project with DZ Bank, a large German bank, for Uniserv. We both see a lot of potential in working together in the future to roll-out the solutions we are co-developing.”
The Female Entrepreneurship Award went to Meha Nelson, the co-founder of Predina. Her start-up developed an AI-powered analytics platform that predicts and mitigates the risks of road accidents.
Meha Nelson said: “I am very happy to win the Female Entrepreneurship Award because I do think there is clear under-representation of women in the tech industry. When I graduated, I was often the only woman in a room full of men. It is getting better than when I started, but there is so much more potential, and it is nice to see more events being organised with inclusivity in mind. There’s still more scope for improvement, but change has started to happen and that’s a good thing.
The accelerator was run by the Open Data Institute, the University of Southampton, Beta-i and Dawex. Since its inception, it has supported 47 start-ups from 13 EU countries, worked with 11 data providers both in the public and private sector, created 112 jobs and generated €14.8 million in sales, investments and efficiencies.
Orsola De Marco, Head of Innovation Programmes at the ODI, said: “Sharing data enables businesses and governments to innovate and create products and services that solve sector challenges and fuel economic growth and productivity. Every company needs to think about how they can share their data to unlock the economic value at scale. Organisations not thinking like this will struggle to compete on the global stage.