Let’s start with a question to the question: what is not an “open data startup”? What startup would possibly say no to the opportunity to use freely accessible, high quality, uptime assured data sources? Because that is at least my vision for unconditional,basic,data.
Then there are startups that actively develop Open Data as part of their business model. They improve the quality of the data, produce and support key tools, maintain APIs, and so on. Business in this area is growing, from what I hear, but I think that relatively few companies would have open data in the center of their marketing strategy. So talk to any company about how “open” their data is, and what limiting factors or strategic considerations keep them from going Open.
And then there is a handful of startups which are very close to the middle of the open data community, who try to make the most of their position by focusing on this market. OpenCorporates, Import.io (at least in earlier days), Viderum come to mind.
I did this workshop a few years ago which summarised some of the main cases, and I don’t really know how much things have changed since then. I have the perspective of a few specific groups in Switzerland who have tried to make the most of open data in their business plans.
It would be good to have a roundtable discussion sometime to bring this issue up to date - and even better to start our own startup map or open database.
Further waypoints: The ODI, ODINE, AngelList, Crunchbase, 1991.vc, The Data Incubator, DB Mindbox, …