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Using Analytics, Bloomberg Beta Seeks Out Startup Founders

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By now 350 employees at companies across the country might just be rethinking their day jobs, thanks to an email sent this morning by venture investment firm Bloomberg Beta.

The early-stage investor, whose sole backer is Bloomberg LP, tapped those 350 people as the candidates most likely to become founders of startup companies. Bloomberg Beta constructed the list using analytical tools and research performed in conjunction with Mattermark, according to Karin Klein, a partner in the firm’s New York office.

“We’re always trying to look at can we do venture capital in a different way,” Klein said. “This next future founders project is expanding that.”

The firm conducted an analysis of all of the venture-backed founders and analyzed the traits that those people had in common. That created a set of patterns that they applied to a dataset of employees currently working at companies in and around the technology industry.

The primary drivers were past work history and educational history, coupled with work experience at a current startup, Klein said.

“We had 43 percent of the pool that we have worked at a venture-backed company immediately before founding a company,” Klein said. “I would have thought it would be higher.”

The emails Bloomberg sent out don’t include term sheets or even an offer to join the firm as an EIR; rather it’s a way for Bloomberg to be proactive about building out a network among the next generation of potential founders, Klein said.

“Our thought is let’s introduce them to other potential co-founders [and] let’s have them spend some time with us. It’s not necessarily that they’re all going to start a business tomorrow,” she said.

The idea for coming up with some sort of predictive analytical tool for potential founders dates back to Klein’s days at Softbank, where she worked from 2000 to 2010.

“I like that we’re being proactive in thinking about finding the people that might not even know yet that they have the good foundation of being an entrepreneur,” she said. “This type of thing encourages more people to be founders.”

Photo via Flickr user Marc Smith