“Processed data is information. Processed information is knowledge. Processed knowledge is wisdom.” — Ankala V. Subbarao
- Big data startup spins off another startup
- Wanted: A-players for life-changing tech
- HCDC offers databases at no charge
- Melink receives national ranking
- Electric truck maker gets boost
- Startup Spotlight: Good dog, good app
- Know your City!
August 11, 2020
A better way to collect data
Astronomer, a local successful startup that mines and prepares data for the data analytics industry, has spun out a new startup. Called MetaRouter, the new unit will focus on routing data in real time.
Cincinnati Future spoke with Tim Brunk, one of Astronomer’s co-founders who is now the CEO of MetaRouter.
The trajectory of both Astronomer and MetaRouter proves that a company with a good idea can succeed even if it’s not located in the middle of traditional funding areas like the coasts. Or as Brunk told us, “You don’t have to be in NYC to get NYC funding.”
Brunk and co-founder Ry Walker created Astronomer as a way to mine and prepare data. They raised some early seed capital in 2015. Then they got another break.
“At the time there was an accelerator called AngelPad in NYC that had just been ranked #1 in the country. We thought, why don’t we apply to that? What harm could it do? So we completed the application and got the Cincy startup scene to pester the guy at AngelPad to death until they finally granted us an interview.”
They were accepted. At the end of the intensive program, AngelPad held a pitch competition. “I remember the guy running it announced that, ‘for the first time ever, one of the companies competing is from Ohio’ (not NYC, CA or London). Everybody kind of laughed, but we ended up winning the competition.”
A couple of years into Astronomer, Brunk and Walker noticed a problem with the mechanics behind capturing data and then sending it to be analyzed. In answer to the problem, they built some tooling into their existing platform that would allow data to be captured and sent to them directly.
That effort developed into MetaRouter, which offers an infrastructure for data collection. And one of their investors suggested they break it out to a new unit.
“You can think of it like the water pipes system in a house," Brunk said. “The water comes in through the main line. That could be useless unless there’s an infrastructure in place that redirects what water should go into the sink, what should go to the shower, etc.” MetaRouter offers a similar infrastructure for data, allowing clients to get the right function and utility out of it.
Brunk says that the company currently works with consumer data for retailers and other consumer-facing businesses. But he sees potential for expanding into improving operation efficiency for companies or processing sensitive data for healthcare companies.
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Wanted: A-players who can change trajectories
ImproveCareNow is a non-profit organization established to transform care, health, and costs for kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Working with a learning health network model, ImproveCareNow has created a collaborative community. Now clinicians, researchers, parents, and patients are empowered to work together to bring about more reliable, proactive Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis care for healthier children and youth.
Through collaboration, ImproveCareNow has dramatically improved outcomes for children living with these conditions. ImproveCareNow has over 120 member sites where patients have a remission rate of more than 80 percent, compared to 55 percent ten years ago.
Hive Networks is now working with ICN to refresh the technology that allows these stakeholders to collaborate. John Bostick, CEO, spent three years studying learning health networks to develop the technology to empower doctors and researchers on their quest to improve health outcomes for patients. Hive’s future platform will allow for the “spread and scale” of more learning health networks like ICN to help kids and adults live better lives while dealing with these challenging diseases and conditions.
Are you an A-player that wants to change career trajectories by joining a firm where you can participate in a mission to help people get better faster? You can help transform healthcare through technology by joining Hive Networks. Find details on their open positions here.
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HCDC: Free access to growth marketing databases
Quality growth marketing databases and lists are frequently out of budget for many startups. HCDC is making growth marketing case studies and databases available at no charge. It’s the latest asset aimed at deepening Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and increasing the rounds of significant “A” investment capital for local startups.
Because it provides strategic information, technical assistance, and the opportunity to connect with HCDC companies is one of the reasons UBI Global recognized the HCDC Business Center as one of the ten best public business incubators in the world.
Melink gains national ranking in renewable energy
After installing 27.2 megawatts (MW) of solar power in 2019 and 65 MW of solar energy since its founding, Melink Solar & Geo (a division of Melink Corporation) has received national ranking as a top solar contractor for 2020 from Solar Power World Magazine.
Melink ranks 69 out of 407 of the top-ranked solar contractors, according to the magazine.
Melink Marketing Communications Specialist Krista Rose says, “Whether working from home or office buildings, renewable energy will still be a critical part of our power infrastructure and transition to a clean energy economy. The pandemic has forced many companies to look further into resiliency planning efforts. Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and micro-grid applications are at the forefront of business resiliency in the face of natural and humanmade disasters.”
Click here to learn more about Solar Power World’s ranking.
Workhorse Group grows with merger
Workhorse Group, manufacturer of C-Series electric delivery trucks, looks to receive a financial boost from the reverse merger of the Lordstown Motor Corporation and DiamondPeak. The deal has an estimated value of $675 million.
Lordstown Motor Corporation CEO and founder Steve Burns is the former founder of Workhorse. Lordstown is building the Endurance, an all-electric, full-size pickup truck from intellectual property purchased from Workhorse for $15.8 million.
"The Endurance was constructed from the ground up with simplicity in mind," says Steve Burns. "Equipped with hub motors in each wheel, and seamlessly integrated with our software system, we are effectively able to deliver a motor and mind in each wheel."
As part of the deal, Workhorse receives a ten percent stake in Lordstown, one percent on every Endurance truck sold up to the first 200,000 vehicles, and one percent of any debt or equity financing.
Photo courtesy Brennan Knotts
Got a jumping, leash-pulling dog who is in serious need of socialization skills? Maybe you adopted a pooch to keep you company during COVID but you can't get him any training. You might get some help from Harper, a Cincy startup whose subscription-based product pairs expert, all-positive dog training with human habit design and immersive visual content. And it’s all available to its members through an iPhone app.
Harper was started in Cincinnati as a side project by three friends who worked in product management, design, and engineering at local Cincinnati startups: Nick Cramer, Robin Daugherty, and Brennan Knotts. Cramer and Knotts both left their jobs at the start of the pandemic in order to focus on building the company.
Harper offers expert-designed courses and fast training games and every course and game is designed in collaboration with a Karen Pryor Academy certified trainer.
You can learn more about Harper here. No word on an app for cats because who are we kidding?
Have you checked your "Cincy-Q" recently?
- In 1880, Cincinnati-based arts entrepreneur Maria Longworth-Storer founded one of the first female-run manufacturing companies in the United States. That company remains in operation today. What’s its name?
- Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood is the childhood home of Hollywood’s highest-grossing filmmaker, studio mogul, and modern blockbuster creator. Who is he?
- Responding to research that women want entertainment while doing housework, Cincinnati-based, consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble helped launch a timeless genre of radio and TV dramas in the 1930s. What was the genre?
Click here to see answers.
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