Summary:

So exactly what kind of level is Channel 4-led innovation fund 4iP investing at? An average £71,428-a-time, judging by its latest slate. C4…

Matt Jones and Matt Webb
photo: Merci Victoria Grace

So exactly what kind of level is Channel 4-led innovation fund 4iP investing at? An average £71,428-a-time, judging by its latest slate. C4 says £500,000 is going to seven outfits

We’ve already covered the MirrorMe and Slugger O’Toole investments; they have been given between £25,000 and £100,000 each (we know MirrorMe got five figures).

But three other projects, one of them led by designers Matt Jones and Matt Webb, are getting over £100,000 each…

  • ScraperWiki: Started by TheyWorkForYou, PublicWhip and UNDemocracy civic hacker Julian Todd, it’s in alpha right now but, due for live in February, it will be a repository for screen-scraping scripts – and the results of their scrapes of unstructured data from inaccessible public information websites.
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  • Yoosk.com: The site that lets users ask questions of special guests already got C4/Screen West Midlands 4iP funding in January. Now it’s becoming the second 4iP recipient (after AudioBoo’s second helping) to get follow-on funding. C4′s aim is to enhance Yoosk’s ratings feature set and “integrate its features into other news and social networking sites
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  • School Report Card: Ex Dopplr designer Jones and BBC designer Webb (pictured; both BERG cohorts) are working on a site that represents Ofsted school inspection data in a “newly accessible way of researching and comparing schools”.

And two more new recipients are taking investment in the £25,000-to-£100,000 range…

  • GymFu: Jof Arnold’s set of iPhone apps measures users’ workouts and socialises the data for competition and encouragement. Dubbed “WiiFit for iPhone”, some secret new plans are afoot. See my earlier interview.
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  • SplashPath: No detail yet.

The delineation of 4iP’s investment strategy is becoming clearer. While it might have been possible to imagine Yoosk getting commercial funding in the pre-recession Web 2.0 era, C4 is steering it more toward public interaction with politicians. ScraperWiki, borrowing heavily from mySociety‘s earlier projects, seems inspired by the MP expenses scandal. And GymFu is all about improving health.

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