Budding entrepreneurs across Great Britain could see their ideas turned into a reality when they go before an Ordnance Survey Dragon’s Den.
Ten finalists are now in line to win a share of £115,000, as part of Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation Challenge, which is aiming to improve local neighbourhoods in Britain.
The ten were selected from a shortlist of 17 at a three day GeoVation camp held at Ordnance Survey.
The winning ideas included an app, which maps out your emotions; an educational tool, which helps school children learn more about their local environment; and a device that reports a crime straight to your local police.
Dr Chris Parker, a GeoVation facilitator, said: “What impressed me most was to see 17 strong ideas being developed collaboratively and openly with other teams, into prototyped ventures pitched competently to the judging panel in just two minutes!
“Each looked to address problems associated with transforming neighbourhoods in Britain in new ways using Ordnance Survey's products and services. There was a huge level of engagement and a real buzz as all participants worked to develop their ideas".
The GeoVation Challenge finalists are:
- Community Animation Mapping Strengths and Assets: By Nick Gardham, of RE:Generate from Warminster. An idea to unearth the latest skills, strengths and talents of local people and map these digitally using Ordnance Survey data.
- Charting the Coldspot: By Keely Mills, from Peterborough CIC. An idea to reinvigorate empty and underutilised shops and properties, and build environmental assets within the Peterborough City Centre High Street.
- The Place Station: By Steve Clare of Locality from London. An idea to introduce land and building owners across the UK, to social entrepreneurs, with a view to improving and transforming their local area with their ideas.
- Sustaination – food enterprise mapping & communication: By Ed Dowding from Salisbury. It involves networking food enterprises to work more effectively together and promote themselves to their communities. OS Open-Data platform helps citizens map food webs, highlighting opportunities for innovation and re-localisation.
- Hate Crime Reporting App: By Matthew Green from Birmingham. An idea for a smartphone app designed to help individuals report instances of Hate Crime. Using OS Open-Data, individuals can locate hotspots on Ordnance Survey maps and submit reports of crime to local police and community organisations.
- Schools in Transition: By Nicola Hilary of the Transition Network. An idea to help connect young people to their local place, by mapping the watershed or ecosystem in which the schools sits, and then overlaying those maps with networks of social and community resources. This watershed mapping Transition approach can be disseminated for use in any school.
- Where next: By Kay Steven from Newcastle Age UK. This idea is to pilot the use of community maps to facilitate person-centred planning with vulnerable, older and isolated people as a way to enable them to engage and integrate into their local community.
- Community Payback Visibility: By Jason Davies of Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust. An idea in which members of the public will nominate locations for Community Payback, work and track their progress using a smartphone App.
- Residents’ Green Space Mapper: By Paul Hodgson of Groundwork London. An idea to develop a new and innovative approach to mapping the green spaces within an urban environment.
- Come To Your Senses: By Laura Sorvala and Emily Wilkinson from Cardiff. A collaborative mapping project to run an online prototype website, which shows how emotions generate a sense of place and well-being within a community.
The finalists will now be invited to Ordnance Survey on 20 June to take part in a ‘Dragons Den’ style GeoVation Showcase, where they will pitch for a share of £115,000 to fund their idea.
The list of finalists will be available on the GeoVation website.
Many of the competition’s entrants are making use of government data, made available to encourage commercial reuse and to promote transparency and accountability. Mapping data is also freely available via Ordnance Survey’s OS Open Data Portal.