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.
Commercial – active
Commercial – previous
Non-commercial – active
Non-commercial – previous
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.