Ryft Brings on Bizologie for Big Data and Internet of Things Analysis in Prep for Funding

As the performance leader in data-intensive computing with a lean marketing team, Ryft found itself focusing on driving revenue and brand reputation, all while raising another round of funding to fuel growth.

With industry heavyweights in retail, finance, defense, and health care all trusting Ryft to power a range of real-time intelligence applications, the team needed access to a complex and expansive look at Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) landscapes to identify the total addressable market for future growth. Because Bizologie has a track record of mining hard-to-find data and producing high-caliber research for VCs, Ryft knew it had identified the right group for the project.

“We needed deep and broad research into an emerging market that leading analysts weren't yet forecasting,” said Pamela O’Neal, Ryft CMO. “By having Bizologie quickly tap into its resources, I didn't have to spend money on a variety of research reports from various sources. In just over a week, Bizologie compiled all the research we needed giving me the ability quickly deliver a very successful investor pitch deck.”

Previous to Ryft’s relationship with Bizologie, the company had subscriptions to some of the top analyst firms in the technology industry. However, the company found that these reports offered little insight into the very new IoT space.

“The speed by which Bizologie delivered the research we needed was the biggest advantage, and the cost savings associated with our collaboration was also huge,” said Pamela. “We also didn’t have to purchase additional reports that can cost as much as $3,000 a piece.”  

With more than a decade of experience delivering incredibly fast data analysis solutions to government intelligence agencies, Ryft found that employing a 3rd party research firm to compile and source reputable research added further credibility to its total addressable market research.

“The bottom line is that working with Bizologie is a no-brainer from a cost-benefit, time-to-value perspective,” said Pamela. “They were very fast, affordable and provided research that was both credible and professional.” 

Austin Business Journal: Meet Laura Young, CEO, Bizologie -- Former librarian and Broadway show buff is part researcher, part sleuth

Photo Credit: Austin Business Journal

Photo Credit: Austin Business Journal

For a 19-year-old desperate to get out of a small town, redemption came in the form of a job at a Mickey Mouse operation.

Laura Young couldn’t wait to leave tiny Sikeston, Missouri, to be a guest services representative at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. That summer job in the late 1980s turned into a seven-year stint — along with a promotion to supervisor — at the family entertainment venue, and it’s something that Young, now the CEO of an Austin startup, wouldn’t have traded for anything.

Having to deal with hundreds of people every day helped Young gain confidence. But the gig had another long-lasting benefit she’s kept in the back of her mind throughout her career.

“It was our job to make sure everything was perfect while [the tourists] were there and go above and beyond to get them what they need,” Young said. “Once you do that for years and years, you always do that with all your jobs.”

After subsequently going back to college in Denver, she liked her part-time job at a library enough to move to Austin to get her master’s degree in library science. She worked in the UT library system for several years until she pivoted into the world of venture capital — using the same skill set.

As a research analyst for nearly seven years with Austin Ventures, Young dug deep to expose the financial entrails of startups that were investment targets, as well as patent searches and even criminal background checks.

So when Young was told in early 2014 that Austin Ventures would not be raising any more VC funds and her job would be cut, she almost immediately came up with the idea that she could start her own company to provide the same type of research on contract to VC firms or other types of clients such as advertising agencies that don’t have their own researchers on staff.

The result was Bizologie LLC, which Young formally launched in mid-2014 along with partners — and fellow librarians — Lindsey Schell and April Kessler, who also worked at Austin Ventures. Young said she’s grateful that Austin Ventures not only encouraged her entrepreneurial idea, but let her stay a while longer at AV to get it off the ground.

“I went in a week later and spoke to one of the [Austin Ventures] general partners,” Young recalled. “I figured he’s not going to lie to me if he thinks the idea isn’t any good. Within five minutes, he said ‘I’ll be your first client.’”

Bizologie is still in startup mode. Have you made any mistakes along the way that you’ve learned from? I feel like we learn something every day. Pricing is always the hardest thing to figure out and that was one of our biggest struggles, but I think we have it down now.

You know a lot about the VC world. What about going out to raise money for Bizologie to grow? I know a lot of startups who say they want to raise this much money and talk about that more than how they are going to build their business and provide something that’s useful. I feel like we’ve made it about the business. The funding will come if you create a good company with a product that people want.

Have you had any really strange research requests from clients? Sometimes we feel like we’re private eyes. April [Kessler] talked about getting a PI license but it takes a lot of time. Someone said they were going out to dinner with somebody and wanted to know about them. Somebody else was considering an investment in an industrial bakery and wanted to know the price of chocolate and sugar now and what it would be five years from now. I’m surprised what people come up with.

Is there a local entrepreneur you admire? Kendra Scott. Any time we see a woman who’s successful in business and getting VC funding it’s worth noting. It’s not easy being a woman on either side of that [VC] equation. It’s hard to get invited through the door in the first place.

Have you had any mentors? The partners I worked for at Austin Ventures. Tom Ball encouraged me [to pursue my own business] from the start. When we were closing down, he said he couldn’t wait to see what people did when they leave. He was helpful in letting me know little details about running a business, and he told me about the failures and successes he’d had.

Your favorite Austin restaurant? Chuy’s.

What’s the last show you binge watched? I’m a librarian but I guess my big secret is I’d rather watch TV than read at night. I love “The Leftovers” that’s filmed here. A friend of mine’s house was scoped out for the show. I also like “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix. I was in Hawaii recently and did a tour of sights filmed for “Lost” and was in heaven.

What’s on your travel wish list? Easter Island. I’m in love with Provence, and if all the money in the world fell into my lap I’d pack up tomorrow, buy a re-done farmhouse there and settle in. I also love going to New York. I’m a huge Broadway fan.

What’s your favorite Broadway show?“Billy Elliott,” and I have a soft spot for “Rent.” I’d kill for “Hamilton” tickets.

Austin Business Journal: "How these three librarians are becoming major players in business research"

For the growing population of midsize venture capital firms in Central Texas, a group of librarians is becoming a vital resource.

Austin-based business research firm Bizologie is not only offering expertise to VC firms, but also to companies in private equity, advertising and marketing as well. The almost-two-year-old company provides detailed business intelligence to clients based on their research needs.

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A Heart for Research, a Head for Business

Though perhaps best known as the capital of Texas, Austin is increasingly becoming popular as a cultural destination, epitomized by the South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festivals held there each year. Less well known is that Austin and its environs are home to several technology start-ups and to venture capital firms that helped fund their launch.

For these firms, good business research is critical to making good investment decisions. But rather than conduct research with in-house staff, some venture capital companies are outsourcing this activity to third parties—which is where SLA member April Kessler (left) and her two librarian colleagues, Laura Young and Lindsey Schell, come in.

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Bizologie Brings Business-Critical Research to Venture Capitalists, Private Equity Pros, Marketing Agencies and Start-Ups Seeking a Competitive Advantage

Seasoned research team helps organizations grow smarter, faster with cost-effective research programs that provide intelligent, subscription-based industry insight

Austin, TX – Jan 12, 2016 – Bizologie, a woman-run research firm with 30+ years of combined experience, provides VCs, private equity pros, marketers and start-ups with the businesses intelligence necessary to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Comprised of researchers with Master’s degrees in Information Studies, and years of experience mining hard-to-find data, Bizologie gathers and synthesizes data from licensed resources into customized reports that provide deep and authoritative insight.

“Bizologie’s research experts allow our investment team to be more productive while improving our research capacity and quality,” said Brett Shobe, principal at Tritium Partners. “The firm provides a competitively priced, one-stop-shop for research services and data resources – a skillset most companies don’t have internally.”

The company helps businesses identify and achieve a broad range of research goals by providing due diligence and competitive intelligence insight via investment bank reports, market studies and various subscription-based databases.

“At every stage of the game, businesses need access to information that will help them innovate, grow and achieve the competitive edge every company seeks,” said Lindsey Schell, partner and chief of business development. “At Bizologie, we provide tailored research programs that help businesses grow smarter and surpass their competitors in a flexible, cost effective manner.”

In order to meet the unique needs of a diverse range of early-and-late stage companies, Bizologie offers tailored service options that keep costs predictable and manageable, including:

Bizologie Projects: Quote-based, single-project agreements for companies with intermittent research needs
- Bizologie Bundles: 20-hour+ packages for phased projects or intermittent research needs
Bizologie Unlimited: Annual retainer agreements with unlimited inquiries

“Bizologie has become an incredibly valuable service for our agency,” said Amy Dowell of HCB Healthcare Advertising. “Being in a marketing services industry, we often don’t know what kind of data we’ll need until we need it. That makes subscription services challenging. It’s difficult to choose in advance which one will be comprehensive enough for us to fund. That’s where Bizologie has made such a difference. It’s the trifecta of access – dimensional data, on-demand and we pay as we need it. We are hooked!”

About Bizologie
Bizologie provides venture capitalists, private equity pros marketers and start-ups with the businesses intelligence necessary to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Comprised of researchers with Master’s degrees in Information Studies, and years of experience mining hard-to-find data, Bizologie gathers and synthesizes data from licensed resources into customized reports that provide deep and authoritative insight. To learn more, visit Bizologie online at www.bizologie.com. 

Silicon Hills: "Bizologie Provides Research Services to VCs and Startups"

In May of 2014, Laura Young found out Austin Ventures wouldn’t be raising another venture capital fund.

That meant her job as a staff researcher and librarian would be phased out.

So in June, she decided to launch Bizologie, a business research firm, with her colleagues and fellow librarians Lindsey Schell and April Kessler. Kessler also worked at Austin Ventures. They all originally met at the University of Texas working in its library system. Bizologie provides due diligence and competitive intelligence research to venture capital firms and startups.

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