Data Pitch Innovation Programme Offers Equity-free Funding for SMEs Addressing Data Challenges

Data Pitch is an EU-funded open innovation programme bringing together corporate and public-sector organisations with start-ups and SMEs that work with data. The programme comprises of a competition with several tracks, which describe challenges set by the data-provisioning organisations, and a six-month accelerator programme to help start-ups and SMEs develop solutions that meet these challenges.

The funder is inviting proposals from start-ups and SMEs from all over the EU (and associated countries) on how to address the following twelve challenges: Retail; Transport; Empowering Users Online; Smart Manufacturing; Sports & Recreation; Data Management; Lifelong Learning; Tourism; Data Analytics; Health & Wellness; and Living Open Innovation.

Businesses will put forward proposals for creating high impact, innovative products and services in response to these challenges. Each challenge can be addressed via the use of one or more datasets, open, shared or closed. Applications must target one challenge only, and explain how it will address it.

The programme has a total funding budget of €4.89 million for two calls; one in 2017, one in 2018. The funder expects to support around 50 companies in total. For the first cohort it expects to fund around 20-25 companies.

The competition will select the best business ideas by start-ups and SMEs. These companies will receive funding, support to develop a concept into a robust and sustainable data business and a place on the Data Pitch Accelerator, commencing in February 2018. The support package comprises:

  • Equity free investment of up to €100,000
  • Introduction to investors
  • Six month business accelerator programme with ODI and Beta-i
  • Peer-networking and support via meetups in major European cities
  • Access to technology and data sets, as well as training materials and webinars by Data Pitch experts.

Start-ups and SMEs from all over the EU may apply. Data Pitch can engage with any industry sector.

The Data Pitch competition consists of two calls. The first call opened at 12 noon on 1 July 2017 and closes at 12 noon on 1 October 2017. The second call is expected to open in summer 2018.