The Open Data Institute (ODI) and Sport England have come together to create an accelerator for startups that work with sports data – the OpenActive Accelerator. The two organisations will support ten start-ups over the next six months to develop new services like apps and websites that will help people to find information about sport more quickly and easily.
All the services will be plugged into the OpenActive feed, which brings together information from sport and activity providers across the country. OpenActive was launched in November 2015 as the result of imin - a social good, open data technology company - partnering with London Sport and with support from the ODI.
The OpenActive Accelerator programme is supported by Sport England and works in partnership with ukactive and London Sport.
The start-ups include Find a Race, which helps runners to find races in different locations, Onigo Escapes, which allows participants to use their smartphones to participate in immersive challenges, and GoSweat, an online marketplace for fitness classes.
OpenActive began as an initiative to encourage data sharing and govern the standards of that data. It aims to revolutionise the experience of those who participate in sports in much the same way as the experience of holidaymakers was radically changed when travel operators unlocked their data.
Currently, 25% of the population in England is inactive.
Each start-up on the programme receives office space, training and mentorship, access to the ODI and Sport England Networks, as well as perks and services from partners including AWS, Google and imin, who share the vision of helping people to get active through interactive ways by stimulating use and innovation with open data. Currently, 25% of the population in England is inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of moderate activity per week.
Jeni Tennison, the CEO of the ODI, said: “The OpenActive Accelerator aims to address this issue [of inactivity] by bringing some of the most creative minds in data and technology together with rich data sets about opportunities to get active. By supporting these start-ups, we are supporting both sectors and creating tangible impact for people investing in talent for the future.”
"The ten start-ups will put people’s needs first when designing their products.”
Allison Savich, strategic lead for data and marketing innovation at Sport England, said: “Sport England will share behavioural insights with the start-ups and support them to use the data that fits people’s lifestyles. The ten start-ups will be supported to put people’s needs first when designing their products. We believe this will reduce one of the main barriers for people trying to get active.”
The seven other start-ups are iPrescribe Exercise, Outdoor Nation, Shout, SPRYT, Sweat & Sound, TrackActive and TrainAsONE.