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Bloomberg Beta Continues Its Data-Based Outreach Targeting Future Founders

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If you’re one of the tech professionals who has gotten an email from Bloomberg Beta identifying you as a future founder and inviting you to dinner, don’t worry, it’s not a hoax.

The venture arm of the media and information services giant Bloomberg is just at it again; continuing its grand experiment in data-driven outreach to folks the firm thinks have the mettle to become the leaders of tomorrow’s startups.

Last year, the firm sent emails to 350 people it identified as most likely to start a company, and invited them to an inaugural event — a tradition the firm is continuing.

And their hit rate isn’t so bad. At least one of their invitees (who, admittedly, had already been introduced to Bloomberg Beta’s chief, Roy Bahat) actually launched one of the most buzzed about companies of 2014.

“I met up with him in early 2014 and got some advice,” says Product Hunt chief executive Ryan Hoover. “It was a really interesting approach to investing and at least looking at the market. It’s an interesting trend in general how investors are trying to get earlier and earlier into the funnel.”

As competition increases and money becomes a commodity,venture investors are looking for any and all ways to get in front of promising entrepreneurs.

Bloomberg Beta’s approach yielded introductions to at least 8 entrepreneurs, including Hoover and one other company that the firm has backed (but remains undisclosed).

Roughly three-quarters of the talent pool that the firm identified as potential entrepreneurs last year came from the West Coast while 25% were from New York. That bias reflects the firm’s focus and is also predicated on a key metric for entrepreneurial vim and vigor, according to Bahat — having worked at a startup previously.

Yup, you read that correctly, apparently the main motivator for starting up a new company in the tech sector is working at a new company in the tech sector, according to Bloomberg’s founder data.

And even if Bloomberg’s potential future founders don’t go on to start their own company, the firm found that they’re still players in the industry.

Around half of the 350 people the firm identified switched jobs within the year, and another significant percentage received major promotions, Bloomberg partner Karin Klein told me.

Another interesting tidbit from this year’s group of invitees (and one that both bodes well for the industry and echoes reporting from CrunchBase we published yesterday) is the rising number of women among the potential entrepreneurs.

“The big thing for this year that’s different in the results is that we looked at the gender of the predicted group this year,” says Bahat. “The predicted rate of female founders is double the current rate.”

According to Bloomberg Beta’s data, around 20% of the potential founders the venture firm is contacting will be women.

Out of the analysis the data actually speaks for itself and it will be an encouraging sign that enough women have the backgrounds that they are in the position to start companies.

“Now more women have a background which suggests that they’ll start venture backed companies,” says Klein.

If you’re one of the lucky few, or you just want to read what a form letter to a would-be founder looks like, here’s the text from last year’s note below.

You’ve been chosen… as one of the most likely people in the technology industry to create a company.
Before we explain, we realize this note comes out of the blue. We lead Bloomberg Beta, the venture fund backed by Bloomberg LP. Startup founders are our customers, and we’ve been frustrated that the most frequent way we met founders was to wait to be introduced to them. We don’t like waiting around for the future to come to us, and we began to search for a way to use data to find the future ourselves.
So, over the past few months, we’ve been conducting an extensive study of everyone in the technology industry in the Bay Area and New York, to answer a question: who are the people most likely to start companies in the future, who have yet to do so?
We analyzed a wide range of public data, including work history, education, and a host of other factors. Our model, we believe, predicts 25x better than chance whether a person will become a founder.
Our model predicted that, right now, you are one the top 350 people most likely to start a company.
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