Past Meetup

Using open data in your startup - challenges and opportunities

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It’s September and startups are floating into the consciousness of Vancouverites like the leaves of fall... Vancouver Startup Week is nearly here! This year, the Open Data Society of BC is thrilled to be joining into Vancouver Startup Week 2015!

See event on Vancouver Startup Week's site (

Note: There is no cost to this event. #VSW2015 attendees and all other Open Data, Startup and Tech Enthusiasts are welcome!

Why Attend?

We want to help Vancouver’s tech crowd learn a little bit more about how open data is being used by startups in Vancouver. You’ll see products using open data, and hear the honest truth from co-founders on the opportunities and challenges they’ve faced using open data in their startups.

What is Startup Week?

Startup Week brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five or more days to build momentum and opportunity around your community’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Join in a celebration led by entrepreneurs and hosted in the entrepreneurial spaces you love.

In 2015, Vancouver Startup Week ( events will explore what companies and their stakeholders can do to really move to the next level. Involved in the conversation will be large established companies, investors, service providers, incubators, talent developers, and of course innovation companies themselves.

How does Open Data apply to Startups?

Open Data is not the business model, or the purpose of a startup - you may not even realize that a startup is using open data. Open data is the open accessible data licenced for reuse and redistribution - it’s the data that supports innovative and responsive service models, and empowers ideas by being available for use by all.

Who is OpenDataBC?

Founded in 2012 -the Open Data Society of BC is a grassroots member driven nonprofit organization that is dedicated to supporting the open data community in British Columbia. The Organization is run by Society board members who all volunteer their time to help make BC and Canada a better place through open data. You can learn more about the Society, including how to join at .

Where is it?

BrainStation Vancouver ( has kindly offered up their shiny new hub in Yaletown. #400, 1110 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC.

Event Schedule

5:30pm - Mingling

6:00pm - Introduction - OpenDataBC)

6:10pm - Meet the Space - BrainStation HQ)

6:15pm - A little about Vancouver Startup Week

6:20pm - Panellist Product Riffs (with visuals)!

6:40pm - Panel “Using open data in your startup - challenges and opportunities”

7:00pm - Open Questions


Moderator - Gillian Vrooman, President, Open Data Society of BC (

Gillian Vrooman is a long time open data advocate. She took on the leadership of the Open Data Society of BC early this year as to support the open data movement across BC and Canada. Gillian gets get excited about meaningful engagement opportunities, open initiatives and ingenious digital solutions.

@gndv ( ( (

Panelist - Frank Hangler, Co-founder, Plot + Scatter (

Frank Hangler is a designer, developer, and co-founder of Plot + Scatter, a data consulting company. He is fascinated by the relationship between technology and design in the digital era, and has contributed to several international reports on the state of the Internet and its impact on society, most recently for UNESCO. During five years at TELUS, he worked with emerging web technologies and built internal social and analytics platforms. Frank holds a BA in Political Science and a Bachelor of Computer Science, both from the University of British Columbia, and an MSc in the Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford.

@hangler ( / @plotandscatter ( (

Panelist - Adam La France, Co-founder & CEO, Knomos (

A graduate of McGill Law and called to the bar in BC & Quebec, Adam’s a lawyer by trade but a builder at heart. His passion for making the law accessible for all, coupled with his experience as a business & IP lawyer, and drive to innovate led to the development of a visual platform for legal research & collaboration - think Google Maps for Law!

Knomos is an interactive web application leveraging data visualization and open access to BC legislation via the BCLaws API. Knomos is an educational aid for law students, a professional tool for lawyers, and a public legal resource for all Canadians.

This summer, Knomos became one of 22 interactive digital media projects to be awarded funding from the Canada Media Fund’s Experimental Stream, which encourages the creation of innovative interactive digital media content and software applications.

@EhLaFrance ( / @theknomos ( (

More panelists coming soon!

Can’t make it in Person?

That’s ok, we’ll be "Periscoping" the event too! Look out for our Periscope broadcast link shared through @OpenDataBC (

Know a BC Startup using OpenData?

Let us know if you know an awesome BC based company using or producing open data! Email [masked] or tweet us at @OpenDataBC (