September 15, 2016

Startup Stories: MapD Raises Credibility and Funding

The path to startup success is never dull and rarely ever easy. This rings true for Verizon Ventures portfolio companies, many of which are innovating in emerging sectors or creating their own category. Our new “Startup Stories” series aims to share some of the best and most interesting stories from our portfolio companies’ past – anywhere from the conception of their idea to creation of their product or service. This month, MapD Founder and CEO Todd Mostak shares a few notable moments from his journey to build a GPU-powered data exploration platform.

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It wasn’t quite a business meeting, but early on we entered Nvidia’s Early Stage Challenge contest, which offered a $100K grand prize. At the time, MapD was just my cofounder and I thought our chances of winning were slim, particularly since we were going against much more established startups. The stakes were high however; since we had both left our day jobs, had no funding, and were scraping by on $10K of loans from our parents. If we didn’t get money soon we would have needed to shelve our dreams and go back to work for “the man”.   

Somehow though, the judges were inspired by our vision for GPU-powered analytics and the early demo we had cobbled together, and decided to award us the prize. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked in my life. That prize made a huge difference as it conferred immense credibility on our early venture and attracted the interest of investors. Less than a month later we had closed our seed round and we were on our way.

 

MAPd

 

Related posts from Verizon Ventures:

Verizon Ventures Invests in MapD to Deliver Data Analytics at Light Speed

From Autonomous Vehicles to In-Car Connectivity: What the Future Holds for Cars

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Sascha Simon, CEO of Driversiti

Tags: portfolio , Startup , MapD , Concept to Creation