Ordnance Survey help 84 start-ups secure £23m funding and create more than 200 jobs
Start-ups using location, land and property data in their products and services can apply to join the Geovation Accelerator Programme and receive the backing and support of Ordnance Survey (OS) and HM Land Registry (HMLR). The fledgling firms using data produced through mapping and related technologies could be in line to receive expert business support and funding to help them flourish on the world stage.
Over a twelve-month period, the start-ups accepted onto the Programme will be able to access a wide range of resources. These resources include access to experienced software developers, geospatial expertise from OS, property expertise from HMLR, and mentorship on business proposals and investor relationships. They will also each receive up to £20,000 in funding.
Business Minister Lord Henley said: “We live in an age where a vast amount of data is produced every single day and businesses are only just scratching the surface of the benefits that can bring.
“This new investment is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy and will mean more start-ups can make the most of this new location-based data technology, helping to create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK.”
The Geovation approach is centred on offering a founder-friendly environment, prime-location office space, meeting facilities, equipment, access to data and great mentors, high-quality workshop content and, almost uniquely, an in-house software development team, who work hand in hand with the companies to build and release their first products.
The data Geovation offers can be used in a variety of ways. The Geotech firms that joined Geovation earlier this year were:
Digital-Field, who provide digital solutions for better land management to improve soil health, food production and reduce environmental impacts.
The Future Fox, who create software for communities to transform their neighbourhood, and for planners to create better places, faster, with AI.
Watchkeeper International, which uses the latest geospatial technology, IoT systems and secure cloud services to provide clients with real-time monitoring and alerts for security incidents, natural disasters and supply chain disruptions.
The PropTech ones are:
DronePrep, who use location data to open up new low-level airspace access possibilities by connecting drone pilots to landowners to share and agree flight information.
Winston, the digital concierge supporting the home of the future.
Property-Markets, the people’s property investment marketplace.
RenKap is an online marketplace working to alleviate the housing crisis by scaling the delivery of affordable homes.
Head of Geovation, Alex Wrottesley, says: “Independent market forecasts indicate the current size of the global geospatial analytics market to be somewhere around $35 billion to $40 billion, with it predicted to grow over the next five years by around 14–17%. By 2023 it’s projected to hit $86 billion. Geovation plays a driving role in unlocking this value and helping British GeoTech and PropTech start-ups become leading players on a domestic and global stage, and we aim to continue growing our influence.
“In general, UK tech start-ups will find it harder to compete on a domestic and world stage if they do not seek out the nurturing of the public sector and large organisations and businesses, and get access to experience, expertise, and world class data. With Government support through its Industrial Strategy, there has possibly never been a better time to be a tech start-up in this country.”
Andrew Trigg, chief geospatial & data officer, said: “Since our relationship with Geovation began in 2017, it’s been fantastic to see the ever-growing list of PropTech start-ups realise their potential with the help of the accelerator programme. To see, and support, the latest generation of innovators apply HMLR and OS data to real social and commercial challenges by such novel, and clever means is a real testament to the potential of our property data. We couldn’t be more excited to see the ideas and solutions presented in this next round of applications for the programme.”
In the three years since the London Hub launched, Geovation has created a community of more than 1200 GeoTech and PropTech start-ups, has helped 84 companies through its Programme and seen these companies raise £23.3M in funding and create more than 200 new jobs.
The past six months has seen Geovation expand through partnerships with complimentary innovation Hubs in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester, in addition to the new Accelerator Programme run in Edinburgh through Geovation Scotland.
Ordnance Survey (OS) ran its first Geovation Innovation Challenge in 2009, and the initiative, which has gone on to grow and evolve, has been a successful vehicle for collaboration with partners across the public and private sectors. Three years ago, a Geovation Hub was opened in London, to nurture and support GeoTech start-ups through a dedicated accelerator programme. HM Land Registry partnered with OS 18 months ago, which saw a PropTech strand added to the Programme.