Hello, I’m Gavin Starks.

I’ve been working on/with the web, data, science, art, media, and creating new businesses for over 20 years.

I’m interested in creating impact@web-scale. If you are interested in receiving updates, please subscribe to my newsletter.

Speaking at TEDxEast in New York, 2010

Click for full biog.

Commercial – active

Commercial – previous

  • founding CEO – Open Data Institute, a world-first created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof. Nigel Shadbolt, unlocking over £50M ($90M) for the data-driven economy
  • co-chairman – Open Banking Working Group, creating the Open Banking Standard that led to new UK regulation
  • founder – CEO and Chairman – multi-award-winning AMEE, raising over $10m from leading international venture capital funds (O’Reilly, USV, and Amadeus)
  • two companies I created were part of the first ten ‘Silicon Roundabout’ companies (Wired)
  • advisory board member – UK Government’s Midata – “Energy Sector Board”, shaping policy with utilities and consumer-rights groups
  • founding CEO – Consolidated Independent to create the digital supply-chain for music, and become the market-leader in digital distribution in 3-years
  • founder-team member/CTO – Asset TV, a secure video network where investment professionals share information
  • founder / CEO – award-winning cross-media company, Tornado Productions (sold to a larger media group in 2003)
  • founder-team member and pioneer of streaming media in the UK and Europe from 1995 helping to set up Richard Branson’s “Virgin Net“, and the International Webcasting Association (IWA) in Europe
  • mentor to innovative UK startups in “Tech City” in both web and space/satellite industries
  • have led projects with UK Govt, BBC, Channel Four, Rolls Royce, Tate Modern, Shell, Radiohead, and UNICEF

Non-commercial – active

  • non-executive director – anti-slavery B-Corp, TISC reports
  • non-executive director – anti-corruption NGO (to be announced)
  • trustee – Longplayer trust, helping to sustain a 1,000-year music performance
  • co-founder and chairman – Hermitage Community Moorings, the first official residential harbour development on the Thames in nearly a century
  • regular speaker at arts, music and geek events

Non-commercial – previous

  • founder-team member of Global Cool, a charity tackling public communication and mitigation of climate change
  • founder of exequo, a non-profit streaming media company for the 3rd sector

Academic / Research


Gavin has been creating businesses for over 20 years, leading projects with organisations such as Arup, Cap Gemini and the World Bank. He has been recognised as one of the most influential people in data: winning awards for his innovation and expertise, and providing Parliamentary Select Committee evidence. He is a regular international speaker on the topic of the web of data and its impact on society.

In 2015, he co-chaired the development of an Open Banking Standard on behalf of HM Treasury, laying the foundations for regulation, and joined the Data, Science and Evidence advisory board of the Ministry of Justice.

In 2012, he joined the Open Data Institute as its founding CEO, working with Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Under his leadership: turnover grew to £5M/year (50:50 commercial matched to philanthropic); the team grew to 65 and its world-class board added Neelie Kroes and Dame Martha Lane-Fox; over 50 companies were incubated; franchises were launched across 20 countries; 6,000 people were trained; impact programmes delivered across commercial sectors; £60M of value was unlocked across its direct ecosystem.

His previous ventures include: organising the world’s environmental data and standards into an open web-service, AMEE, raising over $10M from leading VCs; building the world’s leading digital music distributor, CI, the first company to deliver digital products to iTunes, and sent Amazon 25% of its download store at launch; creating an award-winning streaming media company, Tornado, selling it in 2003; joining Branson’s Virgin Net as employee #5 in 1995 to deliver Virgin Net (now Virgin Media).
At Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory, Gavin developed systems designed to map and interpret the Universe. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, created courses and lectured in Engineering and Music at Glasgow University, and has degrees in both Astronomy and in Electronic Music (including releasing his own album). He converted a historic ship to live aboard, and created a cooperative harbour on the Thames to put it on.

You can follow Gavin @agentGav or http://dgen.net


  1. […] ODI is a start-up — the first of its kind in the world. As its CEO, as an entrepreneur, as a geek, and a citizen, I am incredibly excited about the value that we will help […]

  2. […] development and startups, what would you do with it? That’s precisely the opportunity that Gavin Starks (@AgentGav) has been given as the first CEO of the Open Data Institute (ODI) in the United […]

  3. Javier says:

    Hello Gavin,

    Do you do angel investments in start-ups? Around 20K in size? I am working on an initiative(www.Niru.in) I thought you might find interesting. Let me know and I can share more information.


  4. […] into our home and cruising barge. Today, the artist Julie Freeman and the Open Data Institute’s Gavin Starks live and work on Hans, which is currently berthed at Hermitage Moorings, the first official […]

  5. simon jackson says:

    having read the article ‘out of the box’ in the current issue of the economist, i am curious to see if i can do the simple maths test involving two probabilities that most british mps could not do.
    is it possible to let me have a link to the test?