Edial Dekker (1984) loves ‘good things’ on the internet and is the CEO & co-founder of the Berlin-based startup, Gidsy. He gets excited by open government data, collaborative consumption and meaningful new technologies.
During highschool and the first years of University, Edial worked as a cook. While studying New Media Theory at the University of Amsterdam, Edial realized the importance of making and crafting things.
By blogging, organizing conferences, writing for magazines and hanging around the Amsterdam technology scene, Edial was able to put some of the theory into practice. One of his articles about net neutrality even triggered questions in the Dutch parliament.
Things changed quite radically after Edial started working as a freelance consultant for the city of Utrecht. Edial got involved in participatory projects, social media strategies and realized the importance of building up communities. One of the biggest realizations was seeing citizens as a community that wants to get involved.
This triggered a very ambitious new project called Hack De Overheid (translates to ‘hack the government’). The project, founded by Edial and two friends, started out as an irregular ‘hackathon’, where journalists, designers, developers and citizens would come together for a weekend to build digital tools from open government data that people use in their daily lifes.
The goal of Hack De Overheid is to publish, use and support open government data. This data includes information about addresses of schools, environmental measurements, postal codes, public transportation data and much more. With this data, people created new applications, data visualisations, new stories for data journalists and many other things. Today, Hack de Overheid is a 6 man strong organization that works closely together with the Dutch government and the EU.
Being particularly interested in data visualisations, network theory and design, Edial wrote his final thesis on the similarity between computer viruses and biological viruses.
After graduating in Amsterdam, Edial moved to Berlin with his brother, Floris, and two friends to start a design studio called Your Neighbours. By designing interfaces, infographics, information architectures and other things, the studio worked for clients such as Nokia, Universal Music and Etsy. The money they made was spent on autonomous projects like a data visualization project around Berlin maps, a standalone printer that can print tweets and a big conference in Berlin around the future of cities.
After two years, Edial and Floris met Philip, who quickly became the CTO of their new venture – Gidsy. In essence, Gidsy was place where anyone in the world could explore, offer and book things to do. Examples included a pilot offering 60-minute sightseeing flights over Berlin, a retired police officer who shows people around the Red Light District in Amsterdam, and an amateur cook in New York that organizes in home cooking classes. Gidsy is currently available in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Istanbul, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and other cities.
Gidsy has raised capital from many highly respected investors, such as Werner Vogels (CTO of Amazon), Ashton Kutcher, Sunstone Capital, Index Ventures and Matt Stinchcomb (Head of Marketing at Etsy). The startup has also received several awards, including “Startup of the Year” in Germany and The Netherlands. In April 2013 Gidsy was taken over by tour-booking platform GetYourGuide.
Edial is immensely passionate about empowering people through collaborative environments and self-expression. Edial speaks often about the convergence of offline and online, new technologies, collaborative consumption, social entrepreneurship and open government data.
He has presented at Picnic, The London Web Summit, the Lift Conference, the Next Conference among many others.
Edial at the Lift conference:
Testimonials voor Edial Dekker:
Edial is a very creative expert who gave an out-of-the-box presentation regarding Data Visualization to the management team of Q-go. For everyone who wants to present data in much more compelling ways than it happens today, I can recommend a presentation by Edial.
Marcel Smit, CEO, Q-go (business partner)