DataStart – Be part of it!

Have you got a great idea that utilises open government data? This is your chance to turn that idea into a business!

We are excited to announce the launch of DataStart – an open data initiative being run by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

DataStart is a nation-wide campaign to find, incubate and accelerate startup ideas that leverage openly available data from the Australian Government. This is the start of a more comprehensive engagement with the private sector about the kinds of government datasets that can be used generate new business, develop new products and services, and create social value.

The Department is partnering with Pollenizer, an established Australian incubator, to deliver the initiative. Pollenizer has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific including some of the world’s largest companies such as Singtel and Coca Cola.

A number of large Australian organisations are also on board to support the initiative, including Optus, Google, PwC Australia, CSIRO’s Data61, Rozetta and the Australian Information Industry Association.

So how can you turn your innovative idea into a successful business?

Apply for DataStart – We want to know about you, your experience and, of course, your idea.  

The top 20 shortlisted ideas will participate in a workshop facilitated by Pollenizer to refine their ideas in readiness for the showcase event on 18 January 2016. Teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of professionals and investors for the opportunity to embark on a nine month incubation program and gain access to an investment package valued up to $200,000.

You don’t need a team, company or product (although having these won’t necessarily exclude you) and you don’t need specific data analytical skills. What you do need is passion to join the digital disruption movement and an idea that makes use of one or more of the 7,500 open government datasets available.

The winning startup will receive the support, resources and mentorship of Pollenizer, with the aim being to develop the idea into a self-supporting business over the incubation period. The startup will also receive ongoing support from a team in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, who will assist the business with technical issues, customer discovery and data access.

Those teams that don’t go through to incubation will have had the chance to develop their concept with the mentorship of industry experts in the 5 day workshop. Teams will have the opportunity to make valuable connections within government, industry and investors at the showcase event.  

A series of DataStart information nights are being held across the country during November. Visit the DataStart website for dates, venues and details.


Steven De Costa (not verified) 8 November 2015

This does look like a nice way to kick off a new start for Open Government Data. I've read everything and can see a lot about what DataStart is and how the program would be run.

But, it would be great to actually know why Government is interested in this approach as it would then provide people with further clarity. Perhaps, in part, the 'why' is to help justify sustained investment in the publishing of open Government data.

There has already been a lot of work done to justify the 'why' of open data. Does the DataStart initiative fill some gap the Government is aiming to close? Or, is it just a fun way to promote all the datasets that have been released over the last few years - in which case, there's nothing wrong with that :)

Jacqui Kelly (not verified) 9 November 2015

FYI - The buttons @ the bottom of the blog for access to open data and public data are returning the following ...

Thank Jacqui

This server is experiencing technical problems. Please try again in a few moments. Thanks for your continued patience, and we're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Naomi Perdomo 9 November 2015

Hi Steven,

The DataStart initiative is about bringing together startups, incubators, big corporations and government to support data-driven innovation in Australia.

PwC Australia estimated that data-driven innovation added $67 billion in new value to the Australian economy in 2013 but that an estimated $48 billion was left on the table in potential value from data-driven innovation in that year ( There is clearly room to capitalise on this potential and it is the government’s role to create an environment where data-driven innovators can flourish.

We are specifically targeting startups/new businesses with this initiative as consultation indicates that there is low engagement with open government data from this category. Only 26% of organisations who provided use cases to the Open Data 500 Australia were founded since 2010, this is in contrast to the US study where two-thirds of respondents were founded in the last five years.

DataStart is just one of a range of initiatives being undertaken by the government to support the open data agenda (more to come). While this particular initiative is focussed on providing startups with new commercial opportunities through leveraging open government data, we continue to promote and support the use of government data for government and private sector efficiency, accountability and to create social value.

Further, while only one new company will undertake the nine-month incubation, DataStart is the first step in engaging the broader startup community, understanding their needs / barriers and giving them the opportunity to make valuable connections with government, investors and big corporates.

Sanjeev Hiremath (not verified) 12 November 2015

This is a great start for Open data services improvement. Look forward to participating in big way.

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