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Apps for Europe has come to an end

- June 16, 2015 in A4EU, apps for europe, Apps for X, Apps4EU, AppsforEurope, Open Data, start-up

a4e_logoLast week, we attended the closing event of Apps for Europe in Berlin. Over the course of two days, we evaluated the project that encouraged creators of Open Data apps to turn their ideas into a viable business. Our conclusion? We consider Apps4EU a success, even though not all KPI’s were met. It definitely had a positive influence on the Open Data business scene.

In a nutshell, Apps for Europe is a support network for organisers of competitions using Open Data and stimulates hackathon winners in converting their concept into a viable business. Thus socio-economic value is created and the benefits of Open Data can flourish. Top-notch projects can enter in a pan-European competition, putting local initiatives under an European spotlight.

Round up

On the 10th and 11th of June, we took the time to look back at Apps4EU and its outcomes, together with 18 other European countries. To keep this all breezy and blithe, the coordinating organisation made use of rather unusual evaluation and brainstorm techniques such as the ideation tool HatParty for example. Let me assure you that you want to stay in the running with that one! For the first night, we joined the Startup acceleration event in the Wikimedia offices, co-organised by ODIne and Finodex. Fascinating speeches were given and we even got a keynote from Nicolas Zimmer, chairman of the Technology Foundation Berlin.

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Impact on Open Data

What were the Apps for Europe results after two years? Apps4EU has had its influence on the Open Data business environment. You can see that by looking at the promosing start-ups that got a boost through Apps4EU. A few examples are
  • Ally
  • Plume Labs
  • GoOV
  • Geostep
  • Europeana Beacon
  • The focus of hackathons has also shifted from technical completion towards integrated concepts, innovation and business models. If we want to convert ideas and concepts into viable businesses, a more structural support for hackathons should be offered instead of a one-time incentive. Coaching, courses and workshops instead of prizes and gadgets. Hence the Business Lounge concept of Apps for Europe. During Apps for Europe, we could notice that
  • SLA companies revolving around Open Source products arose, like We Open Data
  • marketplaces for alghoritms using Open Data, for instance Cloud ‘n Sci, can work
  • and even hardware/software projects such as Mnemosyne can flourish
  • And that shows there is more to Open Data startups than just ‘Apps’. There are many diverse European start-ups that can use Open Data into their product and service. Apps for Europe has provided a first framework to locate and stimulate these opportunities. Now it is time to build upon that knowledge and improve upon this format to support Open Data businesses in creating new and better digital solutions.

    Apps For Europe: Take your Open Data application to the next level.

    - October 21, 2014 in apps for europe, Business Lounge, competition, Events, Featured, hackathon, Open Data

    Have you participated in an hackathon this year? And are you ready to build a start up around your application? Or are you still tweaking your open data application idea and do you consider turning that idea into a viable start-up? If your app is using Open Data as a resource than we have the perfect opportunity for you. At Apps for Europe we want to connect the best Open Data applications to a crowd of European investors, incubators and accelerators. But to be allowed to participate during the international business lounge at Future Everything festival, you need to prove your application is worth the attention. That’s why we want to help out with a few thorough preparation sessions: On saturday the 8th of November we’re organising a pre-business lounge in Ghent. This pre-business lounge will go down during Drupalcamp 2014 in Ghent on the ‘Schoonmeersen Campus’ of HoGent. During the camp we will give a introduction session on ‘Making money with Open Data’, where we discuss open data business models and examples of succesful implementations. Afterwards there is a ‘how-to-pitch’ session in the afternoon with live try-outs where other participants are your soundboard, enabling you to tweak your business pitch perfectly. So on one day you will learn to write the ideal Open Data business pitch. Interested? Let us know you’re coming through pieterjan@okfn.be and register on http://ghent2014.drupalcamp.be/ (it’s free!) pastedGraphic Next Steps After the pre-business lounge you will be ready to pitch your application to the whole of Europe. But to be a finalist for the international business lounge in Manchester during Future Everything Festival you need to prove yourself. This can be done in two separate ways.
    1. You submit your application online on the Apps for Europe website. A grand jury of experts will decide which application will go through to the international business lounge.

    2. You can attend one of the local business lounges. The winner of each local business lounge also gets a direct ticket to the final international business lounge.

    Tip: You can enter the online competition and participate in the local business lounge with the samen application. For Belgium, the local Business Lounge will be on the 3rd of December during the Opening-Up Conference. There you will be able to give a 5 minute pitch to a jury of 5 accelerators / incubators, open data experts and start ups. Convince them of your application and win the local business lounge, which is also good practice for the international business lounge. If you want to join us as a contestant, send a mail to pieterjan@okfn.be. It’s not obligatory to have attended the pre-business lounge to enter the local business lounge, but it recommended for early stage open data ideas or people who are new to pitching their idea. And if we can’t convince you, maybe Nigel Williams can. So come to the local business lounge or pre-business lounge to promote or build upon your open data idea or application. If you have questions about the business lounge or the online competition, let us know and we will be happy to answer them.

    Apps for Europe is looking for the best open data apps

    - September 1, 2014 in Applications, apps for europe, competition, Featured, Open Data, Open Data News

    With 10 Business Lounges happening throughout Europe this year, Apps for Europe is trying to find the best open data applications and startups that Europe has to offer. Open Belgium invites all the Belgian developers, startups and companies that use open data as a recourse to join this competition. You have the chance to win a spot at the International Business Lounge @ Future Everything at Manchester in February 2015. The finalists have the chance to pitch their open data application to a crowd of international investors, open data experts, incubators and more.
    There are two possible ways to enter the competition.
    1. You can find a Local Business Lounge hosted in one of the many European Cities. In Belgium the Local Business Lounge will be hosted in Transforma BXL during Open Data Brussels. More information about this business lounge on this blog later this month.

    2. You can also enter the online business lounge by providing information about your application, team and business model. The Apps for Europe online competition will run from September 1st to December 31st 2014.

    About last years competition

    Last years winner BikeCityGuide.org has show the potential of using open data to enhance their company and expand their services. Since the international Business Lounge at Future Everything last year they were able to reach new cities and raise almost 140.000,- in crowdfunding. A true success story! And talking about a successes, the audience award was won by Nostalgeo, a Belgian application from Nazka that enables you to compare old postcards with todays street view. Nostalgeo was a finalist at the international business lounge by entering the local Business Lounge during Open Data Day in Flanders. Other Belgian finalists were data.be, making KBO data searchable and Carambla, the parking app that provides information about parking space in 3 major cities in Belgium. And next year we want a strong Belgian presence at the international Business Lounge as well.

    Nostalgeo at the International Business Lounge

    Ides from Nostalgeo receiving the Audience award at the International Business Lounge 2014

    Over the past years many local, regional and national app competitions in Europe have been organized to stimulated developers and companies to build new applications with open data. Apps for Europe has taken it to the next level. By adding Business Lounges to local events we introduce the world of open data development to that of investors, accelerators, incubators and more. Want more information about the Apps for Europe project? Mail to Pieter-Jan or leave a comment below.