We’ll bring the data, you bring the popcorn.

ODX is ready to help successful applicants with research, data, and technical expertise.

By Joseph Bou-Younes

My name is Joseph Bou-Younes. I’m the Data Executive in Residence at ODX. Here’s how we’re going to help companies in the Accelerator.

About ODX

Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX) is a public-private partnership that drives innovation, growth, and job creation through the commercial use of open data. Before joining ODX I was an executive leading product teams at 500px in Toronto and Yahoo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Why We’re Here

We’re here because we think the Accelerator is going to lead to the creation of creative, sustainable new solutions to municipal problems that use and generate open data. It’s also going to create some innovative companies, and great jobs.

How We Help

I’m a product guy at heart, and I’m excited to help innovate and build cool things with data that solve real problems in a sustainable way. This means:

  • being a data concierge: We will work with applicants to find relevant open data sets and put them to work. We’ll leverage our relationships with government, universities, and the private sector to identify data sets, pry them loose, and get them into the hands of companies that can use them.
  • advising on data architecture, design, and usability: We’ll help successful applicants design the data side of their system and figure out how to scale. Where it makes sense, we’ll create new, usable open data that cities, citizens, and companies can build on in the future.
  • connecting applicants with experts: We have experts in open data, big data, data science, data analysis and data engineering who we can draw on for help. These include people in Canada and the U.S. who have built and operated large-scale, cloud-based data systems on AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google BigQuery.
  • connecting applicants with other governments: ODX is building a national network of governments who want to see their data get commercialized. We’re going to tap this network and get companies in front of other municipalities who may also want to buy the innovative solutions being built at the Accelerator.
  • funding open data projects: We’re looking for projects that build commercial value and create new open data. An example of this is our project with D2L, which turned a bunch of text in PDF files into clean, structured open data that describes the K-12 curriculum for Ontario, British Columbia, and eventually all of Canada. We’d be happy to support a similar project at an Accelerator company.
  • whatever else we can do to help: as Andy Best keeps saying, this is an experiment. We’re going to do whatever we can to help Accelerator companies succeed. Most of us at ODX have founded or worked at start-ups ourselves (some multiple times), so if there’s something else that we can do to help a team in the Accelerator, we’ll do it.
So Apply Already!

I’m going to join the chorus of people on this blog telling you to apply. If you’re working on something that could be useful in water, parking or planning notices then download the RFP and get to it!