Hello, I’m Gavin Starks. I’ve been combining technology, science, art, media, and business for over 20 years.
- founding CEO of The Open Data Institute, a world-first created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof. Nigel Shadbolt
- founder and board member of multi-award-winning AMEE, raising over $10m from leading international venture capital funds (O’Reilly, USV, and Amadeus)
- board member of the GLA “Smart London” programme for smart cities
- member of the UK Government’s Midata – “Energy Sector Board”, shaping open-data 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 of award-winning cross-media company, Tornado Productions (exited 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 web and space industries
- invited speaker at innovation, open data, web, and cleantech/environmental events and conferences
- have led projects with UK Govt, BBC, Channel Four, Rolls Royce, Tate Modern, Shell, Radiohead, and UNICEF
Academic / Research
- BSc (Astronomy): Specific research on Quasars
- Masters of Music (Computer-Music): Published research on 3-D Sound and Virtual Reality Audio
- Experimental Officer at Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory: Radio Astrophysics, Quasars, image processing, and website
- Created and lectured IEEE courses in Electronics and Music at Glasgow University
- Music performed and research published and presented internationally (across 5 continents)
- Contributor with the AmbientTV collective, the Acoustic Space Lab in Latvia, and Nesta/PAL workshops.
Gavin has a unique background in business, technology, science and media. Leading projects with organisations as diverse as the UK Government, Google, BBC, Shell and Unicef, he has broad and deep knowledge of how data can change the world, and has been building technology-platform businesses for over a decade.
He is the founding-CEO of The Open Data Institute, a world-first created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof. Nigel Shadbolt to unlock the value in open data.
He created AMEE in 2006 (and remains on its board), raising over $10m from world-class venture investors including O’Reilly, USV, and Amadeus. AMEE organises the world’s environmental data, standards, and calculations into a simple web-service. It works with governments, multi-nationals, SME’s, universities, and individuals to help them assess and address their environmental impact. In 2011 he joined the UK Government’s “Energy Sector Board” as part of their Midata open-data initiative.
Gavin began developing internet-based research tools in 1993, then in 1995 joined Branson’s award-winning Virgin Net (now Virgin Media) as the 5th team member, and helped to kick-start the streaming media industry in Europe. In 1999 he created award-winning media-technology service, Tornado, and sold it to a larger media group in 2003. He helped create the digital supply-chain as founding CEO of world-leading digital distributor, CI: the first company to deliver digital products to iTunes, and delivered Amazon US ~25% of its download store.
At the UK’s Jodrell Bank Radio Observatory he worked on systems designed to map and interpret the universe. He created courses and lectured in Engineering and Music at Glasgow University, and has degrees in Astronomy, and Electronic Music. He built a co-operative harbour on the Thames, where he now lives, as a musician has released his own album, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.