Open Data Business Models for Hackers

Open Data
Location: F150

In 2009, Luke Closs and Kevin Jones took an idea from open data advocate David Eaves’ blog about how open data can make boring things like garbage collection fun and cool. They created VanTrash, a simple way for Vancouver citizens to remember to take out the trash, recycling and yard compost.

Fast forward 20 months and VanTrash has made civic life of over 3000 Vancouverites just a little bit easier. More importantly, VanTrash has shown itself to be a very tangible example of the kinds of products citizens can make using open data.

This talk will introduce the story of VanTrash, and then look at the business models that could be pursued by such a product. Ranging from citizen paid freemiums to city sponsored infrastructure to public open source services, this talk will present the Business Model Canvas idea as applied to open data / open gov apps.

Photo of Luke Closs

Luke Closs


Luke is a long time open source author and user who recently created the award winning open data app VanTrash. He’s a co-founder of the Vancouver Hack Space and a member of the Pacific Northwest juggling community.