The ODX Ventures program supports Ontario based businesses who use open data in their product or service. Successful applicants must be willing to provide an in-kind match to the amount awarded.
- You are an Ontario based start-up/SME incorporated within the last five years
- You use Canadian open data in your product or service
What can the money be used for?
Activities supported through this program include things such as product development, sourcing first customers and solving real business needs. The company must use the fund to:
- demonstrate a viable working prototype and/or
- make improvements to product/service to achieve greater market traction and sales
How is the money applied?
A non-repayable contribution of up to $50,000 will be applied towards the successful application. The contribution will come in the form of resources and professional services to help in the product and commercial development of the company to get them to the next level. The successful Applicant company must match the contribution in a minimum of a 1:1 ratio with eligible in-kind contributions.
Strong preference is given to applications that have shown proof of market traction through third-party investment and/or customer sales. Applicants have the option of including term sheets, customer purchase orders, or other relevant documentation to strengthen their application for funding.
Reporting of Eligible In-Kind Contribution
A condition for the release of resources and professional services will require the company to provide a detailed project budget and to report on matching of eligible in-kind contributions on a minimum of a 1:1 basis to the funds obtained. Eligible and in-eligible in-kind contributions will be outlined and need to be reported as part of the Collaboration Agreement that needs to be signed with the Open Data Exchange.
The nitty gritty (rules & regulations)
- The applicant must hold equity and a key position in the company
- The applicant must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, residing full-time in the province of Ontario, and committed to building an Ontario-based company
- Applicants must enter into a collaboration agreement with the Open Data Exchange and be subject to project and reporting as outlined below.
- Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing
- Start-ups/SMEs must account for all funding currently in place. Startups/SMEs that have over $50,000 in active funded projects must complete those projects (including all final reporting) prior to ODX Ventures considering other applications for funding.
- It is preferred that:
- Start-ups/SMEs be endorsed by a Campus Linked Accelerator (CLA), Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA), or hubs in the CDMN network.
- Start-ups/SMEs be actively engaged, for a minimum of four months, with the endorsing CLA, OCEA, RIC, or hubs in the CDMN network prior to submitting the application
- Start-up/SME Endorsements be signed by a signing officer of the endorsing CLA, OCEA, RIC, or CDMN hubs
Wait a second, what is Open Data?
Open data is data produced by the government that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone. The data can be from any level of government from municipal, to provincial, to federal. Perhaps the best know example of Open Data is Census Data from Statistics Canada.
However, Open Data extends to multiple sources from Weather Data, to Education Data, to Traffic Data, to Real Estate Data. The possibilities are endless.
Use of Open Data in Your Business
Since Open Data can be freely obtained and used, many people think that it has no business value – That simply is not true! Every day Open Data is being used for commercialization purposes and to build economic opportunities. Some companies have consciously built their businesses using Open Data while others may not even be aware that they are using Open Data as it is merged with internal data sets used for analytics. The Open Data Exchange has come across many uses of Open Data including:
- Using weather data to provide predictive analytics to homeowners for flooding
- Using a variety of municipal, traffic, census data identify the best location for business expansion and growth
- Using graduation and retention rates to help improve how students learn
How is your business using Open Data and how can ODX help you?
How to Apply
Applications will be open until midnight on Friday October 28, 2016
- Complete the ODX Ventures Application Form
- Ensure that you or someone at your company has completed the OD150 Survey
After the application deadline, applications will be reviewed for completeness, eligibility, use of funds, ability to demonstrate a viable business proposal using Open Data, and the impact the project will have on your company’s business growth. The applications will be evaluated by the Open Data Exchange Advisory Board who will make its recommendations to the Open Data Exchange. The Open Data Exchange will make the final decision and notify the successful applicants.
Please note that successful applicants will be required to:
- Execute a collaboration agreement with ODX
- Provide a detailed Project Plan with milestones; preference will be given to projects that can be completed in less than 1 year
- Provide quarterly progress reports using Ministry supplied spreadsheets to detail among other things eligible in-kind contribution from the company
- Provide documentation verifying incorporation, business number and residency status
- Other documentation as may be required