Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024

NGI webinar on open source business development

Requirements for growing an open source business

This free class on Tuesday March 15 from 11 to 12:30 CET organized by NGI Zero and NGI TETRA explores business organization and development of open source projects and important requirements for growth. Business development expert Dirk Lievens and members of NGI Zero from the Accessibility Foundation, Translate House and Free Software Foundation Europe will share their experience and insights.

Open source work has the unique potential to grow from just an idea into an essential component of internet technology. Turning your idea into a business is one of many paths you can take to make this possible. However, growth is never without growing pains. Institutions and businesses have different and usually more complicated requirements to use your work, like accessibility and localisation. Your code might grow to include work from other projects, released under other licenses. How do you meet these requirements and make their upkeep manageable? NGI Zero and NGI TETRA have organized a freely accessible webinar to try and answer these difficult questions. Similar webinars covered other important topics like open source community building and sustainable (crowd)funding.

Next Generation Internet

The Next Generation Internet initiative covers various funding programs for research and development that makes online technology more resilient, trustworthy and sustainable. NLnet foundation funds hundreds of open source and open hardware-projects through the NGI Zero grant program and the NGI Zero consortium, a world-class coalition of not-for-profit organizations supporting researchers and developers with their expertise on security, code quality, accessibility, localisation, pacakaging, diversity, as well as organizing funding. NGI TETRA is a business acceleration program where a network of consultants and experts offer support to NGI-funded projects to commercialize or build a business around their work.

How to join

During this online webinar NGI explores open business development and essential requirements for open source projects to grow into a business and meet large-scale use requirements. We hope this can help you develop sustainable business plans for your open source project. Ready to join? Simply follow this link to the freely accessible BigBlueButton-room, provided by Fairkom, a Swiss provider of FOSS-services (and NGI-grantee working on open source software for map and event synchronization). No sign-up or registration is required. Jump in, join the Public Chat and share important links and material to remember in the Shared Notes (both on the top left hand side of the screen).


  • Dirk Lievens is an experienced and down to earth business coach and mentor for startups & scaleups. He has a background in strategy, corporate development (M&A) and new business development in all types of industries. Dirk is very well connected with and active in the European startup & scaleup ecosystem and a lot of corporate innovation leaders. Dirk is guest lecturer at multiple universities including the KU Leuven and is a public speaker on topics related to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Eric Velleman (HAN lectorate Inclusive Digital Design & Engineering) is a passionate researcher and has built up a large international network in the field of inclusive digital design & engineering over the past 20 years. In addition to his position as a professor, Eric Velleman is scientific advisor at the Accessibility Foundation and innovation expert at Bartiméus, a nationwide expertise organisation that supports blind and partially sighted people.
  • Gabriel Ku Wei Bin (Free Software Foundation Europe) has a background in law and is originally from Singapore, where he worked as a junior associate practicing corporate and commercial law. He left Singapore in 2012 to study international human rights law at Lund University in Sweden, and since graduating has conducted legal research and writing in the fields of human rights and constitutional law in various non-profit organizations in Europe.
  • Dwayne Bailey (Translate House) founded in 2001 to address issues around accessibility to software in South Africa. He pioneered the first localised African language word processor leading directly to Microsoft localising their own products into African languages. He founded Translate House to continue developing Pootle, an open source localisation tool, which is used by both commercial and open source projects. Pootle itself is now managed and contributed to by a wide community.
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