We can’t believe we are already halfway through the first Data Pitch accelerator programme, with our initial cohort of 18 data startups reaching their first milestones. It has been a busy time with our companies making great progress – developing products and services, securing new contracts, speaking at events and attracting new funding and investment.

Our innovators from across Europe are working on exciting and diverse ideas across a range of sectors, including reducing road traffic accidents using artificial intelligence, increasing the efficiency of patient/doctor/pharmacist relationships and helping tourists navigate towns and cities with chatbots and online concierge services.

We asked them what they found most invigorating about working with data to solve modern day problems, and received a range of inspiring responses.

Francesco Marcellino, CEO of Pharmawizard, highlighted the huge amount of potential inherent in every new dataset to help healthcare providers and citizens manage and understand information when purchasing medicines. He says, “In every dataset there are many potential benefits to citizens and healthcare providers. We get to realise some of that potential by making it valuable, accessible and understandable. The best bit about data? It is infinite!”

In another health-related area, Mohamed Taha, CEO of Nanovare is exploring how data can uncover new information on male infertility and drive change in the medical community.  He says, “We are thrilled to be working in the space between medicine and data analysis. We are at the cutting edge of what’s possible with today’s technology.”

Jérôme Berlioz is Project Director of Data Moove, which is developing a product called MinoTour, a concierge service for holidaymakers, giving personalised recommendations of sights to see and places to visit, making a huge volume of information accessible and relevant with the help of algorithms, machine learning and AI.  He says, “The best thing about working with tourism data is transforming a chaotic environment into clean, clear and understandable information for users. Data is always in  perpetual evolution!”

For Adomas Malaiska, CEO of Next Question, the exciting thing about data is the moment of finally making a breakthrough discovery. Next Question hopes to revolutionise the retail industry with intelligent stock control systems which use machine learning to analyse a wide range of factors influencing consumer behaviour.  Adomas says, “The passion for working with data is one of the key values of our team. We enjoy the whole process – every bit of work done involves a mix of research and learning, goal setting, calibrating the applications of algorithms to real life problems and then finally finding the solution. That “aha” moment is a very rewarding feeling.”

Car repair shops will be the beneficiaries of Predrepair’s discoveries in data, as its predictive maintenance algorithms will help them accurately assess maintenance needs and schedule mechanic time, but for CEO Niels Reinhard this can only work if sufficient care is taken to understand the sector and establish data quality and understanding. For him, the best thing about working with data is the ability to create value by tailoring a product to the specific needs of the customer and he says, “It excites us to give our clients access to data that can inform their daily decisions in the most powerful manner.”

And Dr Guenther Hoffmann, CEO of LexaTexer, sums up the joy of working with data with the help of a quote from a famous American inventor.  He says, “We love to discover new things and we love this quote from Charles Kettering: ‘My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.’” He adds, “With the right data, we can attempt to predict some aspects of the future.”

We will be featuring inspiring quotes from all of our startup companies on our Twitter feed over the next few weeks – and if their passion for data motivates you to join Data Pitch, sign up to our newsletter to find out about how to apply for our second open call this summer when we will be announcing a brand new set of data challenges.