Data Elite launches as 'first venture lab' for big data

Venture capitalists in Silicon Valley appear convinced that big data means big money.


Silicon Valley is all about the big data these days, hoping -- no, banking on the trend to turn into big money.

Jumping on the biggest trend in enterprise and IT tech trend since the buzzword "cloud" emerged, some of the biggest names in the venture capital field have gathered together to back a new institution and fund to tackle big data.

Dubbed Data Elite, the project is being touted as Silicon Valley’s first venture lab for big data startups.

Founded by Tasso Argyros, who also sold another data firm to Teradata for $300 million in 2011, Data Elite has an impressive list of backers, including Andreessen Horowitz and The Social+Capital Partnership, among many others.

According to reps for the initiative, the premise behind Data Elite is that big data scientists want to solve massive problems in a setting of their peers rather than an incubator or several-week launch program.

Thus, Data Elite has been set up to help entrepreneurs grow their ideas with this thought-process in mind -- but also with a minimum of $150,000 in funding along with a physical working space and support staff in San Francisco.

The program has also signed on professionals from some well-established companies in the tech industry with plenty of data at their disposal just waiting to be crunched, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Netflix. Counselors from this pool forming Data Elite's mentor and partner companies have promised to commit to more than 60 hours per week of coaching time just for the Data Elite companies.

It should be noted this program isn't for newbies looking to get into big data. According to the applications process, applicants are expected to already have expertise in a given aspect of data sciences and have a concrete idea for a feasible startup.

The applications process has already begun and will be open to individuals and teams through December 15. Acknowledging the admittance process will be highly selective at first and limited to five to 10 companies, the three-month program commence on January 14.