Feb. 2, 2017
Cornell Tech, eLab startup Datalogue raises $1.5 million
Datalogue, a Cornell startup with roots on the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses, uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to automate data preparation. The company raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Bloomberg Beta, Flybridge, NVIDIA and other investors to support its work in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Founder and CEO Tim Delisle, M.H.A ’15, who is now pursuing an M.Sc. with a concentration in Health Tech at the Jacobs-Technion Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, calls the successful fundraising “a crazy ride,” noting the New York City-based Datalogue incorporated in February 2016 before they had graduated Cornell’s eLab Accelerator Class of 2016. The capital will go toward hiring engineering and product talent.
“We officially began at eLab, working on early customer acquisition,” said Delisle. “We were based out of Cornell Tech, traveling back and forth between Ithaca and New York City.”
Shortly after their stint at eLab, he and CTO Bryan Russett began working full time at Datalogue.
“Tim is a great example of a student entrepreneur who took advantage of ‘One Cornell’ – the full breadth of resources, from classes at Johnson to eLab to Cornell Tech,” said Steven Gal, a senior lecturer at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. “It’s been a great pleasure and privilege to be able to advise driven student entrepreneurs like Tim and to see them build on that momentum and find success after – and in this case even before – they graduate.”
Delisle said the newfound funding will play a big role in taking the business to the next level, allowing them to continue developing their product for market to address specific customer needs. “We have a two-step plan,” he said. “First, we need to nail it, that’s the phase that we’re currently in. Then comes phase two, scale it.”
Cornell Tech and eLab played a large role in Datalogue’s recent success, according to Delisle. “It’s hard to put into words how much Cornell helped us,” he said. “The eLab team was fantastic in terms of providing us the mentorship and concrete tools to confidently talk about our ventures.” He counts David Tisch, head of the Cornell Tech Startup Studio, and Greg Pass ’97, chief entrepreneurial officer at Cornell Tech, among Datalogue’s sources of inspiration.
“Our mission as a company is to put data into the hands of the people who need it. Anyone who has to make a data-driven decision needs the right data at the right time,” he said. “That’s why we entered this business: to make sure people have the resources that they need when they need them.”
Datalogue works with Fortune 1000 companies in several industries; they plan to move into banking and insurance in the coming months. Delisle noted the company tackles crucial problems in data usage by solving three problems – field standardization, ontology mapping and deduplication – that aren’t addressed by existing data tools.
Although many of Datalogue’s techniques are based on the master’s project Delisle developed at Cornell Tech, his passion for the data industry comes from his work in pharmaceuticals – an industry the company serves.
“With pharmaceutical work, you’re ultimately trying to develop drugs that save lives,” he said of researchers in the industry. “Once I was exposed to those people, who were doing their jobs for all the right reasons, the only thing I wanted to do was ensure that they had the data they need to get their job done.”
Ruthie Weissman '16 is a freelance writer.