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.