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RESEARCH: Identify drivers that determine success of start-ups in Big-data space

Assume a situation wherein investors are looking for your input on the start-ups that they should be investing in. And they are looking to understand the factors that they should consider in order for them to objectively (using data) evaluate and better understand characteristics of successful start-ups. 

Objective of this contest is to identify key factors that determine success or failure of start-up ventures in the Big Data and Analytics space4. Solvers are also expected to identify data sources that provide relevant information about start-ups.


Solvers are encouraged to review the data dictionary attached under the “Data” tab for definitions on industry terms listed in contest description. Factors that you come up with can be hypothetical or based on expert opinions or other sources but they should be measurable in very early stage companies e.g. financial information like revenues of the company is not a factor that can always be considered for an early stage start-up venture as this information is not available. Following information has been provided to aid solvers to think in the right direction. Factors can be of the following types but not limited to –

  • Company founders and their backgrounds e.g. education, variety of experience etc.
  • Factors related to market potential of companies e.g. time to market maturity, competitors etc.
  • Business model of companies e.g. targeting fortune 500, repeatability etc.
  • Last investors e.g. #Investors, when the investment was made etc.


Names of some of the successful and failed ventures have been provided to solvers. This list can be downloaded from "Data" tab -CA_CompanyList.csv This can be used in the research process to identify potential factors.

Data dictionary: Definitions of some of the key terms have been provided in the "Data Tab" - CA_DataTerms_Definitions.doc Please refer to the dictionary for a thorough understanding of the problem.

How output of this contest will be consumed:

For a given set of companies to be evaluated,

  • Data for all factors identified by solvers will be gathered
  • Data will be consolidated across all companies
  • A scoring mechanism will be built to score start-ups for their likelihood of success

Deliverable Expectations

The following list will be expected to be delivered in the form of a word document –

  • Factors that solvers think determine success or failure
  • Potential data sources to gather information about the factors across companies (note that the data sources solvers provide can be a paid or free source)
  • Rationale on why you think the factor is significant in determining success or failure, provide references if appropriate


Total prize pool of USD 12,000

  • 2 prizes of USD 1,000
  • 6 prizes of USD 750
  • 8 prizes of USD 500
  • 6 prizes of USD 250


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Tags: big-data, community, crowdanalytix, crowdsourcing, innovation, startups


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