OpenActive, the Sport England-backed open data initiative, which seeks to improve access to sport and training opportunities throughout the UK, has showcased ten new health and tech start-ups to potential investors.
As OpenActive pitch was held alongside the Open Data Institute Summit in London, offering a platform for start-ups forming part of the OpenActive Accelerator.
The programme, worth an estimated £80,000 to participating companies, provides support and mentoring for startups developing products and services using open opportunity data to assist people in getting active.
Benefits include office space at Huckletree West in White City, as well stands at events, speaking engagements and access to the newly-launched open database for physical activity providers in the UK.
The participating startups have already experienced 260 hours of business mentoring across the programme, including insight from the likes of London Sport, Monzo, Samsung and Octopus Ventures.
One of the firms being supported is GoSweat, which is working to transform the way people find and book physical activity.
It has integrated the open data sets into its technology and is currently working on a project with leisure provider GLL, which boasts over 250 leisure centres and partnerships with 30 local councils.
Steph Newport-Booth, co-founder of GoSweat, commented: “We’ve worked with some great mentors, who helped us refine our business and branding.
“We’ve been involved with Sport England and have had an amazing insight into how they work and the issues they face. All the startups on the OpenActive Accelerator are great, and offer us great support for the bad days, whilst also joining in and seeing the successes across the cohort.”
Other start-ups involved in the Accelerator are IPrescribe Exercise, Spryt, Onigo Escapes, Sweat and Sound, TrainasOne, Find a Race, Shout, Track Active and Outdoor Nation.
Between them, they have used advances in virtual reality, AI, blockchain and open data to support their work to broaden access to sport and exercise.
Commenting on the programme, Orsola De Marco, head of startups at the Open Data Institute said: “The support of Sport England has given them insight into how behaviour change works in the physical activity sector and we know that they’ve built lifelong relationships with open data providers.
“We are delighted that the startups on the programme got so much from it. Huckletree gave them a community where they could develop partnerships with other like-minded businesses who were also based there.
“The startups have developed a clear understanding of the importance of open data and will be more likely to use it in the future. The ODI team and external mentors helped the startups to mature their products and aid in their launch. We hope that their positive experience will encourage others in the sector to incorporate open data into their own software as more becomes available.”