SAN FRANCISCO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Today, a unique group of venture capital firms and data science leaders are announcing a new institution that they believe will help tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges through data science. These organizations have joined forces to launch Data Elite, Silicon Valley’s first venture lab and early stage fund for big data startups and scientists, complete with working space, support staff, customer board and every resource meaningful to transform founding teams into viable and impactful companies. Data Elite is an investment vehicle meant to empower entrepreneurs that already have expertise around data, and to help cultivate companies that will use data to disrupt entire industries.
“Data Elite is providing a novel and important new approach to help grow startups in the ever-growing data sciences industry. It’s exciting to be part of an effort that will help startups build solutions to real data problems”
Data Elite was founded by Tasso Argyros, founder of Aster Data, which sold to Teradata for $300M in 2011, as well as Stamos Venios, who has held M&A and investment positions with companies in Europe and Israel. Stamos will be the Managing Director of Data Elite while Tasso joins the elite ranks of Data Elite’s advisors. The entity is backed by The Social+Capital Partnership, Andreessen Horowitz, Formation8, Ron Conway, and Anand Rajaraman.
The venture was formed while trying to push the boundaries of conventional fund structures and early stage accelerating models. It is intended to fill the gap that exists in the startup ecosystem specifically around big data startups. Despite the plethora of early stage funds & incubators, so far entrepreneurs that are experts in big data have avoided those vehicles; rather, they most often attempt to bootstrap their companies on their own. The reason is that the support and resources that may appeal to founders in spaces like mobile apps or social media are too generic & inadequate to make a difference for a big data startup founder. For most big data entrepreneurs, the value of joining an incubator or teaming up with a generic early stage fund is simply not there.
Enter Data Elite. The venture lab and early-stage fund aims to take in world-class founding teams with ideas around big data and within months transform them into entities that have achieved traction with enterprises and/or consumers, have a concrete business strategy and are ready to receive investment from the Valley’s best investors, including Data Elite’s backers.
Data Elite is searching for companies that use data to drive big disruption. The fact is that nearly all successful big data startups are founded by people that can understand the technical challenges of data as well as the gaps in the market. As a result, Data Elite will be very selective in the companies it accepts, focusing on founding teams with at least five years of subject matter expertise around data, or proven success in a data-related field.
The three-month program will initially be selective, comprised of 5-10 companies, and will begin on January 15th, 2014. Applicants are expected to have expertise in a given aspect of data sciences, as well as an incorporated company or a concrete idea with the intention of starting a company; this will allow them to get the most out of the Data Elite program. Those accepted should be prepared to work on-site at the Data Elite offices in San Francisco where they can have regular contact with partners, investors, and customers. Applications are now being taken by individuals and teams until December 15th, 2013. To apply, please visit: www.data-elite.com
Date Elite will provide the following to accepted parties:
- A minimum of $150,000 investment, through common stock purchase and convertible notes
- Regular technical and business development counsel from Data Elite’s partners, who together are committed to more than 60 hours per week of coaching time just for the Data Elite companies
- Access to Data Elite’s corporate advisors, comprised of big data decision makers from Fortune 500 companies
- Direct connections with world-class Silicon Valley’s investors for follow-on funding
- Access to free office space in San Francisco
Data Elite’s partners comprise of an ‘A-team of big data,’ including:
- Ken Rudin - Head of Analytics, Facebook
- Daniel McCaffrey - General Manager, Platform and Analytics at Zynga
- Jeff Magnusson - Manager, Data Science Platform Architecture at Netflix
- Anand Rajaraman – Investor and computer science professor at Stanford, teaching Stanford’s graduate data mining class. In the past, Anand was the founder and head of Kosmix which became WalmartLabs in 2011.
- Jonathan Goldman – Founder, Level Up Analytics. Jonathan was also the head of the Analytics team at Aster Data, and prior to that a founding member of LinkedIn’s data science team, having done pioneering work such as the first social ‘People You May Know” feature at LinkedIn.
- Nicholas Wakefield - Data Scientist and Strategic Advisor. Recently, Nick was the Director of Decision Sciences at LinkedIn.
- Eric Colson - Chief Algorithms and Analytics Officer, StitchFix. Prior to this role, Eric was the VP of Data Science Engineering at Netflix.
- Ashish Tushoo - Co-Founder & CEO at Qubole. Ashish was the co-founder of the Apache Hive project while he was building and running Facebook’s data service to over 25PB.
- Mark Parrish - Investor and advisor at Parrish Advisors, and is the former VP of membership and customer retention at Barnes and Noble.
- Steven Mih - VP Business Development at Couchbase
- Stephen Reade - Operating Advisor - Global Strategic Business Group at Actian Corporation
- Jerome Boulon - Technical Director--Data Services at Riot Games
"There are many funds, incubators, and accelerators out there that entrepreneurs can turn to today for general business advice. However, none of these programs have the industry knowledge to help highly technical founders in the data sciences to commercialize their research or build out their products," says Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and Managing Partner at The Social+Capital Partnership. "Data Elite was formed to bridge this gap, with hands-on support from today's most accomplished and knowledgeable data scientists."
“Data Elite is providing a novel and important new approach to help grow startups in the ever-growing data sciences industry. It’s exciting to be part of an effort that will help startups build solutions to real data problems,” says Daniel McCaffrey, GM Platform and Analytics at Zynga.
"This could be a game changer in the big data space. Data Elite is bringing together big names, big funds, and big customers for the first time under the same roof, providing a service unlike anything else out there. If I were to start all over again, Data Elite would be the first door I knock on,” says Stavros Harizopoulos, co-founder and CTO at Amiato.
"Big data is solving big problems and we need a home to foster the next generation of this unique breed of scientist. This is the vision of Data Elite and why I’m excited to be on board,” says Ron Conway.
“World-class advisors are one of the most important determinants of success for a young company, and we couldn't be more impressed with the quality of mentors on the roster at Data Elite,” says Joe Lonsdale, Partner at Formation8 and Palantir co-founder. “We are extremely excited to support such a unique launch pad which shares our common love of data science and desire to support companies tackling deeply important challenges facing the world today.”
To learn more and apply to Data Elite, please visit www.data-elite.com
About Data Elite
Data Elite is the Silicon Valley’s first venture lab and early-stage fund focused on data sciences. Data Elite was founded by Tasso Argyros, founder of Aster Data which was sold to Teradata for $300M in 2011, as well as Stamos Venios, who has held M&A and investment positions with companies in Europe and Israel. The fund is backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors such as The Social+Capital Partnership, Andreessen Horowitz, Formation8, Ron Conway, and Anand Rajaraman. Data Elite’s six-month program provides top scientists and repeat entrepreneurs with the financial resources, customer network, and technical counsel to build and grow world-class big data businesses.