OS Director David Henderson
Ordnance Survey director David Henderson speaking at the Geovation Hub in London at an earlier showcase event

Ordnance Survey picks winners for latest accelerator

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Nicholas Fearn

Ordnance Survey has selected seven startups that use location, land and property data in products and services to take part in its 2019 Geovation Accelerator Programme.

The 2019 cohort includes:

  • Digital Field provides a range of land management digital solutions with the aim of improving soil health and food production and reducing environmental impact
  • The Future Fox develops artificial intelligence-powered software to help communities transform their neighbourhood and help planners create better places
  • Watchkeeper International is using geospatial technology, IoT systems and secure cloud services for real-time monitoring and alerts for security incidents, natural disasters and supply chain disruptions
  • DronePrep identifies new low-level airspace access by leveraging location data and connecting drone pilots with landowners to share and agree flight information
  • Winston has developed a digital concierge service for smart homes
  • Property-Markets offers an online property investment marketplace
  • RenKap is on a mission to eradicate the housing crisis by scaling the delivery of affordable homes through its online marketplace

The Geovation scheme provides early-stage proptech and geotech businesses with up to £20,000 in funding; 12-months of free desk space; and access to a network of established entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Over the next 12 months, the startups will take part in a range of one-to-one sessions and workshops covering finance, fundraising, business planning, legal and intellectual property, company law, and coaching on presentations and pitching.

Launched in 2015, the Geovation Accelerator Programme is delivered and funded by Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry. To date, it’s supported 84 startups, created 200 jobs and resulted in £23.3m of investment.

Alex Wrottesley, head of Geovation, said: “We offer a founder-friendly environment, great mentors, high-quality workshop content and, almost uniquely, a dedicated software development team in-house, who work hand in hand with our companies to build and release their first products.

“This is something very few accelerators can offer, and it means the businesses joining us can move faster and further than they otherwise would have been able to.

“We’re very much future focused and are looking forward to meeting and working with the next group of programme members, and being a part of their story and them ours. We can’t wait to begin working with them.”

Flourishing cohort

One of the programme’s recent success stories is Hipla, which received funding and support to develop a home buyer passport to improve transparency in the mortgage market.

Adam Phillips, co-founder of Hipla, said: “Receiving the backing, guidance and help from HM Land Registry, Geovation, and Ordnance Survey has helped our early-stage startup gain a much steadier footing than it otherwise would have done.

“Their help with funding, office space, data and market insight has been invaluable. Their support has meant we are now in a much better position to deliver on our objectives of improving the home buying process.”

Another startup to go through the scheme in the past was drone software company Trik. Founded by Pae Natwilai, the firm uses drone photo feeds to generate interactive 3D models for the structural inspections of buildings.

“Through Geovation we have grown our team significantly and managed to secure pre-seed investment from two amazing investors, Alex Chesterman the founder of Zoopla and Simon Franks, founder of Lovefilm,” she said.

“Next for us is scaling up the system and marketing it globally. We are currently finalising a deal with a couple of large engineering enterprises both in the UK and internationally.”

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