Open Knowledge Belgium

BikeCityGuide and Nostalgeo win the Apps for Europe competition.

Pieter-Jan Pauwels

After a long and intense few days at FutureEverything, the winners of the Apps for Europe International Business Lounge 2014 were finally announced on Tuesday evening at an awards ceremony organised by TechHub Manchester.

This event was the culmination of the first year of the Apps for Europe project; the 10 finalists, selected either online or from local Business Lounge events, presented their ideas to the conference delegates and jury.

So who won?

BikeCityGuide – Daniel Kofler and Lukas Kulhanek

An app which helps cyclists find bike friendly routes and is currently available in nearly forty cities across Europe. The judges were impressed with the duo’s convincing proposition, powerful pitch, and demonstrated impact.

The jury runners up were:

2nd – Nearhood

3rd – OldMapsOnline

At the event itself there was an audience vote and the audience prize went to:

Nostalgeo – Ides Bauwens and Han Tambuyzer

An Belgian app which allows the user to combine old postcards with contemporary street views.

The event

All 10 finalists had enjoyed a fully packed few days in the neo-gothic splendour of Manchester Town Hall, an incredible setting for the showcase of the business benefits of Open Data.

The event kicked off with an introduction to the project by Frank Kresin (Waag Society) with speakers addressing the value of Open Data, including Milena Popova (Europeana), Julian Tait (FutureEverything) and Pieter Colpaert (OKFN Belgium).

The finalists’ ideas were exhibited with videos throughout the duration of the conference. They also took part in a series of workshops that aimed to equip them with the tools and knowledge to grow their ideas into sustainable businesses; there were sessions on media, UX design and finance.The culmination of day one was a networking event on the atmospheric twenty-fourth floor of Manchester City Tower. Conference delegates gathered to meet with the finalists and talk to them about their ideas.

Day two began with each finalist offering a ten minute presentation about their app and business plan. This was followed by an intense 30 minute long individual interview with the judging panel.

Other events also took place in the International Business Lounge space, which were designed to compliment Apps for Europe’s objectives surrounding Open Data. Dan Hill (Executive Director of Futures and Best Practice for the Future Cities Catapult) and Dominic Campbell (Founder of FutureGov) spoke about the importance of designing for Openness; Open is not simply a switch we can turn on or off as we choose – once open, things can never be closed, therefore openness needs to be carefully designed.

This was followed by a hands on workshop that gave participants the chance to explore and use some of the APIs that FutureEverything and partners are developing.

Just before the announcement of the winners, Paul Maltby made a surprise revelation of his own: the launch of Policy Lab UK, headed by Dr Andrea Siodmok, bringing user-led design, data & digital to policy development in the UK Government.

What’s next?

Through access to the Apps for Europe support network it is hoped that all 10 finalists’ ideas will be able to grow and flourish – providing evidence of the business value of open data.

We are, with 10 other partners running the Apps for Europe programme to stimulate the scale of app businesses in Europe built on open data. The project has just come to the end of its first year.

Do you have an open data based app or service?

The pan-European competition will run again from 2014/15 culminating in another International Business Lounge next year at FutureEverything. There are two ways to enter next year’s competition:

1. Enter and win a local business lounge – check our website for upcoming events

2. Enter our online competition – which will be open on the website from next week.

For more information about the project visit
For more insights on the conference itself through the attendees, here’s is a storify:

[View the story “International Business Lounge 2014 – FutureEverything” on Storify]


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