The annual Open Government Data (OGD) Startup Competition has been hosted by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) since 2013. Various ministries have been holding their own startup competitions to discover new business models for the government’s creative economy initiative. Above all, the OGD Startup Competition, hosted by the MOI, is designed to award innovative startup ideas for new web-based or app services using OGD or open APIs.
The 3rd OGD Startup Competition, held last year, was different from its predecessors; it was more of a championship. Central ministries, public institutions and municipalities had been holding similar competitions, so preliminary rounds were held separately by the MOI (for the league of ministries’ startup competitions), the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (for the league of public institutions’ startup competitions), and five municipalities in order to pick the best of the best in the finals.
A total of 30 teams, 15 preliminary round winners and another 15 teams from other competitions held separately by public institutions, moved onto the next round, 10 teams of which made it to the finals.
The 10 finalists, 5 in the Idea Planning category and 5 in the Product and Services Development category, made a presentation on their idea in front of a 200-strong judging panel comprised of experts and laymen. The judging panel evaluated each presentation immediately after each team finished their presentation. The competition was so fierce that it was as thrilling as any other live television audition program. A total of 86 million won was handed out in prize money and awards (e.g. Grand Prize, First Runner Up, Excellence Award, and Participation Award) were given out in each category.
The winners also received various benefits, such as technology consulting services offered by the open platform V-WORLD (launched by the Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT); qualification for DB-Stars (held by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning); additional points when they apply to startup programs like VentureSquare (designed specifically for app developers) and Smart Venture Institute; and support for setting up a booth at Korea Public Procurement Expo (held by the Public Procurement Service). In particular, the MOI teamed up with startup accelerator Open Square D to systemically help nurture creative ideas into businesses.
Anyone who has ideas and apps based on OGD can participate in the OGD Startup Competition. For more information, visit the websites of the MOI and the National Information Society Agency, Open Data Portal (www.data.og.kr) or the website of the OGD Startup Competition (www.startupidea.kr).
The top prize winners of the 3rd OGD Startup Competition were Farming (a smart farm app based on weather data) in the ‘Idea Planning’ category and Goonies’ Smart Palette (a digital art device using traditional contents) in the ‘Product and Services Development’ category.