Database startup raises $700K toward $2M goal

Iterate connects large companies to tech startups. (Iterate website)

Iterate connects large companies to tech startups. (Iterate website)

A startup that helps established companies find products from tech startups is aiming to raise $2 million.

Iterate Studio makes a searchable database of tech startups categorized by industry, an algorithm to match startups with enterprises that might like them and software that makes it easier to try out a startup’s code and see if it solves a problem in a larger company’s software.

Iterate has raised $700,000 from six investors as of July 20, according to SEC documents.

Co-founder Andrew Wichern said the goal is to make it faster to find startups and test their technology. One major investment will be improving the formula Iterate uses to predict which users match well with which startups.

“What we want to do is use artificial intelligence and deep computer learning,” he said, using not just the startup’s description of what it does and the user’s search words, but also the user’s search history and behavior. “Now, automatically, we can provide a recommendation.”

Another big investment is making it easier for established companies to find Iterate.

For now, for example, Nike might come across Iterate as a widget on the hosting site for its e-commerce store.

Nike might then search Iterate for a startup that invented a way to upload photos faster or a handy payment system. Then Nike can test those features on its e-commerce website before deciding whether it would like to license each startup’s product.

In the future, Wichern said, Iterate hopes to have similar agreements with companies that host other websites, like SAP, Oracle, or Amazon.

Another time-saver is legal. Startups and enterprises in its database each sign one agreement with Iterate, rather than individual agreements with one another every time they want to test new code.

And the enterprises press one button to “inject” the code into their software.

Wichern said 400 startups have profiles on Iterate’s database. Many more – about 130,000 – are listed on the website after Iterate finds them.

The enterprise companies using Iterate Studio’s database, Cisco Systems and Macy’s, can search for startups with technologies they might like to use. Or they can announce a challenge to solve.

Searching and posting a challenge are free.

Enterprises can also hire Iterate Studio to handpick startups or even string together technologies from several startups. Using Adobe Cloud and some code from a startup, Iterate made a bag that keeps track of the products placed inside of it so that customers don’t have to visit the checkout counter.

Startups do not receive royalties during trials on Iterate, nor do they pay a fee to be listed. When a trial is over, the startup and the enterprise can decide whether and how to continue working with one another.

Wichern founded Iterate with Brian Sathianathan and Jon Nordmark, the CEO and co-founder of EBags. The company has 15 employees, six in Denver and the rest based at offices in New York and San Francisco.

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