BuiltWithMongoDB

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Built by MongoDB: Qubitro Makes Device Data Accessible Anywhere it's Needed

Increased cloud adoption and the expansion of 5G networks are expected to drive growth in IoT technologies over the next few years. Emergent IoT technologies are poised to transform businesses and the social fabric, including healthcare, smart homes and cities, and the government sector. Delaware-based startup, Qubitro , looks to capitalize on the potentially explosive growth in IoT technology by helping companies bring smart solutions to market faster. Qubitro, which is also a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, offers the fastest way of collecting and processing device data to activate it wherever it's needed. Product vision Qubitro founder and CEO, Beray Bentesen, estimates that there are now billions of devices producing massive amounts of data. The company's mission, he says, is to make device data accessible anywhere it's needed as fast as possible and at a lower cost than ever before. By collecting device data from multiple networks and providing various developer toolkits for activating data in applications, Qubitro enables data-driven decision making and modern application development. The company has two main products: the Qubitro Portal , a user interface where users can collaborate with other members or their internal team and create real-time actions such as rules and output integrations with their applications, and developer tools including APIs and SDKs that allow for custom solutions without having to develop data infrastructure from scratch. Bentesen wants Qubitro to become the fabric of a digital transformation powered by device data. "We aim to make any data published from devices flow over our network and make any application that relies on device data to integrate with our services," Bentesen says. The ideal Qubitro customer is one that needs to put device data into their solutions. "It could be startups, IoT-adopting enterprises, or custom solution providers," Bentesen says. The company has also been heavily investing in developer experience, he adds. A platform to build upon The secret to building a platform that can process data in milliseconds with privacy and user experience combined is, not surprisingly, another platform — specifically the MongoDB Atlas developer data platform. "We offer managed connectivity solutions, user interface, and the APIs," Bentesen says. "So we process tons of data. And MongoDB is in the middle of all those inputs and outputs." The MongoDB for Startups program helps startups build faster and scale further with free MongoDB Atlas credits, one-on-one technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to a vast partner network. Bentesen says the company has benefitted from being in the program a number of ways. "In the early days when we joined the program, we were able to get answers to questions that would take probably weeks or maybe more if you search on the internet," he says. "We were able to understand what to develop, which saved us a lot of time and of course expense." The MongoDB Atlas platform also helps their developers during those crucial stages prior to launching a new feature and as the product grows in popularity. "With MongoDB Atlas, we could test our development environment before going to production," Bentesen says. "And as we scale, we're able to observe the traffic through MongoDB Atlas and optimize thanks to the tools MongoDB offers, like MongoDB Compass , without dealing with code or complex environments." MongoDB's document model database made it an easy choice for the company's needs. "We decided to use MongoDB because it's a flexible environment," Bentesen says. "We knew we would have to build new features over time. So we needed to go with a flexible database. We're still adding more and more features without breaking the entire system. We wanted that flexibility, and in a managed cloud offering, which MongoDB gives us." Bentesen also cites MongoDB's Time Series collections as one of the features he's most excited about, since the vast majority of IoT solutions rely on time series data. Looking forward Bentesen says Qubitro will likely add more enterprise features in the future. The more they grow, he says, the more insight they're getting about what customers want. The company also plans to invest heavily in growing its community of users and, of course, attracting more talent. Bentensen says the company fully embraces the remote-first culture and believes they can work faster working remotely. If you're looking forward to building the next generation of connected solutions, visit Qubitro.com , join the company's Discord server , or have a chat anytime, even weekends! Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now . For more startups content, check out our previous blog on ChargeHub .

November 9, 2022

Built With MongoDB: ChargeHub Simplifies the Electric Charging Experience

While the market for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to expand, several barriers to adoption continue to prevent buyers from making the switch. One of the top concerns among potential buyers is access to charging stations. Currently, there are more than 150,000 charging stations in the U.S. and Canada, but you wouldn't know it by driving along a highway or through a densely populated area. That's because unlike gas stations, charging stations are not advertised on the side of highways or with huge commercial signs. Quebec-based startup, ChargeHub , is out to solve this problem. "ChargeHub's mission is to simplify the electric vehicle charging experience," says ChargeHub Co-founder and CTO, Olivier Proulx. "If we simplify it enough, it will increase electric vehicle adoption." With the ChargeHub app, EV owners can locate charging stations anywhere in North America and know if they're available for charging. ChargeHub is also a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, which helps startups build faster and scale further with free MongoDB Atlas credits, one-on-one technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to a vast partner network. Company origins Even though the app is the company's main focus today, it's not how ChargeHub started. Proulx says he and the co-founders worked as consultants in the EV space before EV cars were even on the road. "We were building electric off road vehicles,'' Proulx says. "Clients were asking us, where are the charging stations in Canada? And we thought the easiest thing to do was to build an app that would show that." After putting the app on the app store for free, the number of downloads convinced them that knowing the location of charging stations was a real problem. So, they diverted their attention away from consulting and started putting more effort into the ChargeHub app. Evolving the app It's not just finding a charging station that EV owners find problematic. When you get to a charging station, you need to pay for charging. The market is highly fragmented, Proulx says. In North America, there are currently over 35 operators of charging stations. When you go to use a new one, you have to sign up for an account with the charging operator and deposit funds into the account to pay for charging. With so many different operators, you wind up with multiple accounts, each with a balance. "With ChargeHub," Proulx says, "you can create one account and charge at over 70% of the charging stations in North America." Today, when EV owners find a station using the ChargeHub app, they can find out if there's a port available before they get there. And, once they start a charging session, the app shows that the charging session has started. That's a lot of transactions that have to happen in real time to ensure a seamless user experience. Proulx says MongoDB Atlas , when he compared it against other databases, gave them the performance they needed at a cost that made the decision easy. Building with MongoDB ChargeHub Co-founder and CTO, Olivier Proulx, describes the EV charging experience for attendees at MongoDB World 2022. Proulx says that the choice to build with MongoDB Atlas from the beginning was critical to its early success. "MongoDB Atlas helped us get the product up and running on a stable, scalable platform from day one," Proulx says. "We didn't have to worry about having to migrate later. And it helped us prove our concept without having to spend too much." Getting free Atlas credits from the MongoDB for Startups program also helped. "When you're building a product and going to market, you're trying to save every penny that you can and extend your runway," Proulx says. The security of Atlas was another key consideration. "Having industry-standard security was critical because we work with electric utilities that are very strict on security," Proulx says. "With MongoDB Atlas, being able to check that box from day one was really critical." Like a lot of startups, the ChargeHub team had to be strategic about where it focused its resources. Managing a database was not part of that strategy. "We were a small team, we didn't want to have to run our own hardware, we wanted everything in the cloud as a service," Proulx says. "Being able to focus on building our solution instead of running things was critical for us. And being able to pick our cloud provider was helpful in managing costs." Cloud flexibility was a big factor for the ChargeHub team according to Proulx: "MongoDB makes it really seamless to pick your cloud provider. And they work with all the main cloud providers. It makes our security policies easier to maintain." Leveraging the cloud depends on how well you're able to integrate it into your existing tech stack. MongoDB scored high marks in that regard. "Our tech stack is based on Node.js and JavaScript. The connection with MongoDB and the document model was so seamless," Proulx says. "Even the Query API fits so well with Node and JavaScript. So for us, it was a no-brainer to go with MongoDB." The road ahead ChargeHub's goal is to reach 100% coverage of charging stations in North America. As EV infrastructure expands, and as more people know that a charging station is never that far away, Proulx says people will be less reluctant to choose an EV for their next car. If the feedback he gets from his users is any indication, new EV buyers don't have anything to worry about. "By having an app and a consumer product, you get feedback from your users," Proulx says. "It's so fun to hear from our users who go on road trips and use ChargeHub to go see the mountains and charge on the way. They're so happy they can finally use one app to charge anywhere they want." If you're looking into an electric vehicle or you already have one, download the ChargeHub app for iOS or Android . Or you can try the all new web experience designed specifically for Tesla drivers to use in the Tesla browser. And be sure to reach out to the ChargeHub support channel if you have feedback. They're always looking to improve the app experience. Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now . For more startups content, check out our Built With MongoDB blog collection.

October 26, 2022

Built With MongoDB: Thunkable Brings the Power of App Development to Non-Developers

Great ideas can come from anywhere. But, if you have a great idea for a mobile app, you won't get far without developer talent. In today's app market, there are so many ideas in various stages of development that developer talent has become scarce and costly. To fill the gap, low-code and no-code solutions have emerged. Thunkable is a no-code platform that makes it easy to build custom native mobile apps without any advanced software engineering knowledge or certifications. The platform has seen tremendous growth, recently expanding to more than three million users. MongoDB has been pivotal to that growth, enabling the company to offer its services at scale without having to worry about managing the database. Thunkable is also part of the MongoDB for Startups program, which has helped the company solve some of the technical hurdles involved with scaling to millions of users. App creation for everyone Just because you don't have a computer science degree doesn't mean you can't come up with a great idea for an app. Thunkable co-founder and CTO, Wei Li, says the company is on a mission to democratize mobile app development. "We are currently empowering more than three million users across the globe that can come to our platform to build and publish their apps and do it without writing a single piece of code," Li says. Thunkable uses a simple drag-and-drop design canvas and powerful logic blocks to give innovators the tools they need to breathe life into their app designs. "It's very exciting seeing people from all different backgrounds trying to build solutions," says Jose Dominguez, engineer at Thunkable. "The part that I'm most proud about," says Li, "is our global users. Every day, I hear wonderful stories. For example, we recently have had people using our platform to build mobile apps to coordinate relief efforts in Ukraine. And since the pandemic, we have seen more users coming to our platform to build an app that addresses their needs for work, family, and community." Mobile phones are a transformational technology, but at the same time, there's untapped potential waiting to be exploited. Li believes Thunkable can help unleash the latent power lurking in our back pockets. "There are so many needs people could solve by using their smartphones," Li says. "But because they cannot program their phone, they become passive consumers. We want to empower them to become active creators." Modern app development with MongoDB Thunkable chose MongoDB early on because it mapped to its existing architecture; it stuck with MongoDB because it scaled when it became critical to do so. "We decided to build with MongoDB because it fits our data very naturally," Dominguez says. "We abstract our users' apps as documents, so it's a natural fit. We do a lot of writes so we needed a system to handle those kinds of loads and MongoDB was the perfect fit." Like a lot of startups, Thunkable has had to figure out how to achieve its goals with limited resources. Its engineering team consists of about four to six developers. "The engineering team has always been focused on building the product," Dominguez says. "So not having to worry about the database was a great win for us. It allowed us to iterate very fast and build new versions of the platform without having to worry about scaling the database or backups." After scaling to three million users, the Thunkable engineering team needed to rethink some of its design decisions about data. So, they talked with MongoDB engineers, courtesy of the startup program. Since then, their data storage needs have decreased while performance has improved. "Our partnership with MongoDB has been fundamental to our growth," Dominguez says. Li concurs: "As we scale, supporting more enterprise customers, we don't have to worry about database management issues. We know MongoDB will do a great job helping us as we scale." Building better together In addition to free MongoDB Atlas credits and one-on-one technical support, participants in the MongoDB for Startups program enjoy co-marketing opportunities and access to our partner network. "It's wonderful to be part of the MongoDB for Startups program," Li says. "We have all the support we need, from database management, MongoDB upgrades, and maintenance. You just go to one portal, one website. It's wonderful." MongoDB technical support has also been a life-saver for Thunkable, says Dominguez. "We had an initial call with an engineer and went through our logs. The engineer spotted a few things that we could fix right away. We were having issues with our op log — the tool that MongoDB uses to replicate to other servers — and the engineers helped get us out of those issues." The MongoDB dashboard is another tool Dominguez cites as being especially helpful. "For us, being able to log in to the dashboard and have all the functionality already there is a life saver," he says. "Not only being able to monitor the cluster, but digging into our collections and seeing if our indices are performing properly gives us tremendous insight. The integration of MongoDB and Google Cloud makes our infrastructure much easier to maintain." Future integrations Although they've scaled to millions of users, the team at Thunkable isn't finished. "This upcoming year will be a big one for Thunkable," Li says. "We're going to use our recent funding to scale up our support for enterprise, mainly for team support, collaboration, and enterprise design integration. For example, we recently integrated with Figma so you can import your Figma design into the Thunkable platform and have a functional app." "We're also currently hiring," Li adds. "We're planning to double our team within the next six months." To learn more about Thunkable or if you want to get started building your own mobile apps, check out Thunkable to get started for free . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now .

October 12, 2022

Built With MongoDB: Satori Streamlines Secure Data Access

Handling data imposes contradictory responsibilities upon organizations. On one hand, they need to protect data from unauthorized access. On the other hand, they need to extract value from data; otherwise, why collect it in the first place? The contradiction lies in the fact that to extract value from data, you have to grant access to it, but unregulated access to data can lead to its misuse. Data access service provider Satori enables organizations to accelerate their data use by simplifying and automating access policies while helping to ensure compliance with data security and privacy requirements. In addition to being a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, Satori has just added support for MongoDB workloads, so organizations running MongoDB can now take advantage of Satori's secure data access service. Balancing act Despite the immense volume of sensitive personal, financial, or health-related data within most organizations, managing access to that data is often a manual process handled by a small team struggling with other competing interests. Satori chief scientist Ben Herzberg says this task of managing data access at companies is slowing down innovation. "The majority of organizations are still managing access to data in a manual way," Herzberg says. "Everyone is feeling the bottleneck. The data analyst who wants to do their job in a meaningful way just wants to understand what data sets they can use and get access to it fast." Getting access to data can be an uphill battle, however. "Sometimes you have to go through three or four different teams to get access to data," Herzberg says. "It can take a week or two." Meanwhile, the data engineers who are primarily responsible for managing access to data are getting pulled away from their core responsibilities. "This places the company in an uncomfortable position of having time-intensive processes implemented by teams who would prefer to be working on other tasks," Herzberg says. Simple, fast, secure As a data access service, Satori streamlines access to data, accelerates time-to-value, improves engineering productivity, and reduces complexity and operational risk, all while protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance with relevant data privacy regulations. The first job of protecting sensitive data is identifying it, but according to Satori's research , few companies have a system in place that continuously monitors for and discovers sensitive data. Organizations that do monitor sensitive data typically do so only quarterly or annually. Herzberg says Satori continuously discovers sensitive data as it's being accessed. "As one of our customers said: I want to remain continuously compliant. I want to know where my sensitive data is at all times. We do that," Herzberg says. Data users can request access to data over Slack, the Satori data portal, and through other integrations to get immediate access to data without any engineering effort, changes to infrastructure, schemas, or tables, or creating objects on the database. "When a lot of people want access to data, you need a simple, fast, and secure way to do it without exposing yourself to risk," Herzberg says. Instead of taking days or weeks to process data access requests, with Satori, it takes just minutes. Build the next big thing with MongoDB Satori chose MongoDB early on because of the inherent flexibility of the document data model. "We chose MongoDB to move quickly and without limitations," Satori software engineering manager Oleg Toubenshlak says. "We didn't know what type of data we would be storing or how we might want to extend objects, so we chose MongoDB because of the flexibility of the data model." "MongoDB is a core component of our infrastructure where we keep customer configurations," Toubenshlak says. "We started with MongoDB deployed on-prem and moved to MongoDB Atlas." Toubenshlak cites continuous backups, easy deployment, and scalability as additional Atlas capabilities he finds valuable. "MongoDB allows us to move fast with development so we can focus on other areas. It's very simple in terms of security and network access. In terms of clients, MongoDB Atlas helps us provide extended capabilities in order to map our Java objects to BSON. It's very compatible and does this very quickly. Once we moved to Atlas, all our problems were solved," he says. Toubenshlak also appreciates the help he received as a member of the startup program. "We had startup credits, and we used professional services to make sure everything was configured properly," he says. "Satori is a small cluster for MongoDB, but I'm very surprised at the time investment we've received." The company is also excited about adding MongoDB Atlas to its list of supported platforms. "Adding MongoDB support is very exciting for us," Herzberg says. "We're already working with some design partners in different industries and helping them with their deployment. It's a meaningful step for us in NoSQL databases. We're seeing a lot of traction with existing customers that want to expand their MongoDB deployments and with new customers." If you're running MongoDB and are interested in simplifying data access, visit Satori and set up a demo or test drive. Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now .

September 28, 2022

Built With MongoDB: Vanta Automates Security and Compliance for Fast-Growing Businesses

Organizations pay a high price for running afoul of regulations. Several eight- and nine-figure fines have already been issued for GDPR violations in the four years since the far-reaching privacy regulation went into effect. Although the biggest fines are reserved for the biggest offenders, small businesses and startups, which can least afford financial and reputational setbacks, have no choice but to take compliance seriously. San Francisco-based startup Vanta knows what a challenge security and compliance can be for companies. Vanta co-founder Christina Cacioppo worked on Dropbox’s collaborative document project, Paper, when she and her team encountered resistance from the company’s legal team. From legal's perspective, the Paper project was jeopardizing compliance with Dropbox’s customer contracts. Cacioppo helped found Vanta to come up with a software solution to the compliance problem. Vanta helps companies scale security practices and automate compliance for the most prevalent data security and privacy regulatory frameworks, including SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR, and CCPA. The company's platform gives organizations the tools they need to automate up to 90% of the work required for security audits, and more than 1,500 customers have signed on since its founding in 2016. Vanta is part of the MongoDB for Startups program, which helps early-stage, high-growth startups build faster and scale further, and has used MongoDB as its database of record since its inception. Next-level security monitoring Vanta launched in the wake of several high-profile data breaches. Although the company's founders understood that online security was becoming more important, they also knew how hard it could be for fast-growing companies to invest the time and resources needed to build a security foundation. So, they set about building a platform that could withstand not just today's threats but tomorrow's as well. Robbie Ostrow, now engineering manager, was the first employee the company hired. "Historically, the way proving security worked was that a company would have an auditor look at its platform once a year and issue a piece of paper that says, 'you seem secure,'" Ostrow says. "We check all the same items that an auditor would check, but instead of checking 1% of it once a year, we check 100% once an hour." Ostrow acknowledges how helpful MongoDB Atlas has been in ensuring state-of-the-art security practices. "As a security company, one thing that's really important is ensuring that our data is separate from everybody else's data and that we are not accidentally exposing random ports to the internet," Ostrow says. "One awesome thing about MongoDB Atlas is a feature called VPC peering, which allows us to take our virtual private cloud (VPC) and communicate with our database cluster while not exposing any cruft to the world." Integration and scaling According to Ostrow, Vanta’s decision to use MongoDB from the start has been critical to its success. "We originally chose MongoDB because it was a perfect tool with which we could prototype,'' Ostrow says. "But we also found that it's a great tool for production systems. And we don't really believe in MVPs for the sake of MVPs because they eventually end up becoming production systems. So luckily we chose MongoDB, which helped us prototype really quickly because we didn't have to build tooling and migrate it to another system. And then it ended up being a tool that was able to scale with us." Once Vanta moved past an MVP, its growth was intricately tied to how fast it could integrate with other tools and build new features. "The key to the growth we've had is in the number of integrations we've been able to build and new features we've been able to add on top of those integrations," Ostrow says. "MongoDB has helped a lot to allow us to build and ship quickly without any downtime." Vanta software engineer, David Zhu, agrees. "MongoDB makes it easy for us to model our data and access it in ways that are very flexible," Zhu says. "As a security company, we're monitoring a lot of different resources, and our understanding of those resources changes over time." Flexible and familiar As a company that prizes the ability to iterate rapidly, Vanta finds great value in the flexibility of the document model that underpins MongoDB Atlas. "We have a really strict code base," Ostrow says, "but the flexibility of the data model allows us to move quickly while still feeling safe about the changes we're making." Getting the developer experience right is key to maximizing the productivity of a limited and costly resource. "Whenever we make changes or need to think about how we want to model our information," Zhu says, "MongoDB has the flexibility to let us make changes on the fly and speed up our development process." Drew Gregory, a software engineer at Vanta, also highlights the benefit of familiarity when developing in Atlas. "MongoDB's API abstractions tend to feel like JavaScript and JSON objects," Gregory says. "We really enjoy trying to make our entire stack feel and look like TypeScript. So MongoDB, cosmetically, aesthetically, and even programmatically, feels like working with JavaScript the whole way down." Zhu echoed a similar point: "Our technical stack is very straightforward. MongoDB slots right in. All of the data looks similar, and all engineers can work really easily across all aspects of our stack." That familiarity is important at Vanta because it helps with recruiting efforts. "One thing I like to tell people I'm recruiting is that Vanta tries to move fast and not break too many things,'' Ostrow said. "Because we're a startup, we need to grow incredibly quickly. But we're also a security company that our customers depend on. And we want to make sure that, while we're able to ship features really quickly, we're not going to violate customers' trust while we're doing so. Hiring people who are able to do this and ensuring that the tools you're using are able to scale are really important." To that end, Ostrow points out: "We're hiring quickly and looking for great new engineers. So get in touch if you're interested." A program for success MongoDB for Startups offers startups access to a wide range of resources, including free credits to our best-in-class developer data platform, MongoDB Atlas, personalized technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to our robust developer community. Ostrow credits the MongoDB for Startups program for helping Vanta with its Atlas deployment. "MongoDB sent us a consultant who was able to help optimize the way we were using it and gave us a report with excellent advice across the board," Ostrow says. "We still refer to that report all the time." Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now .

September 14, 2022

Built With MongoDB: Alloy Transforms Ecommerce With No-Code Integrations

Gregg Mojica and Sara Du knew there was a need for simpler integrations with ecommerce platforms because they had experienced it themselves. After becoming friends through the open source community, they started a Shopify store as a side project and became intrigued by the multitude of apps available in the Shopify ecosystem — a large selection of integrations for things like ERP, email and social media marketing, ads, marketing analytics, and more. Mojica and Du also found that stitching together these disparate tools was overly complex and that the tools were not geared toward ecommerce. Their company, Alloy Automation , is a no-code integration solution that integrates with and automates ecommerce services, such as CRM, logistics, subscriptions, and databases. For example, Alloy can automate SMS messages to go out upon reaching fulfillment milestones. It can automatically start a workflow when an event occurs in an online store or in another app, create logic to define whether a follow-up action will be taken, and use conditions like order tags or customer location to set up automated actions that will pull and push data from connected apps. If order status is updated to paid and the total value of order is greater than $100, for example, Alloy Automation can automatically send a text message with a discount for an additional purchase. Alloy is part of the MongoDB for Startups program, and this article looks at how Alloy uses MongoDB and also benefits from the partnership to overcome startup challenges. Jobs to be done Mojica, co-founder and CTO of Alloy, sympathized with merchants that were trying to connect multistage workflows using the limited tools that were available. "A lot of merchants have relatively complex flows," he said. "They're cycling through abandoned carts, checking if certain line items are present, and setting up very aggressive rules that historically you would have to program yourself. But a lot of merchants don't have the operating budget to hire expensive engineers to set up these rules." Mojica applied the knowledge he had gained as an engineer in financial services to address the integration problems he and Du were experiencing as online merchants. Although Alloy was initially focused on solving general ecommerce problems, Mojica says he realized that the tools he was building could apply to more than just ecommerce. "Not only are we solving problems for merchants but also for software and SaaS companies," Mojica said. "Now anybody can build relatively complex automations without having engineering expertise. Alloy can templatize those things and offer them as recipes on our platform – we offer a business facing product called Alloy Embedded that allows anyone to effortlessly connect to our integrations by implementing our SDK. Businesses can get started very easily with just a few lines of code." Early stages Alloy is a Y Combinator company — part of the cohort that was scheduled to demo their products in March 2020, the very moment the world “locked down” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It still raised $5 million in a seed round , followed by $20 million in Series A funding in February 2022. In that time, the company has expanded its platform to include more than 220 integrations, including MongoDB. Alloy is a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, which provides Atlas credits among other benefits for young companies, and it uses MongoDB Atlas as the underlying database. Mojica cites several reasons for the close partnership between the two companies. "Atlas was the database we chose from the beginning. I personally have used MongoDB before, so I have a certain comfort level, and I was the first person that wrote code in Alloy," Mojica said. "But another big reason why I wanted to use MongoDB is the freeform nature of much of the data that we ingest. We connect over 220 integrations, each one has its own schema, and it's typically in JSON. So having a less structured way to store that information compared with something highly delineated like SQL has been very valuable to us." Growing pains Mojica and Du are acutely aware of the challenges startups face, especially managing technical resources. "We like the fact that MongoDB has really good support, there's built-in monitoring, and backups,” Mojica said. “These things allow you to get going quickly. There's a lot of pressure, especially in the very beginning, to get into Y Combinator. You've got to build the product, get customers, and start your fundraise. That's a lot to do in three months. What you don't want to worry about is all the DevOps stuff." As startups begin to scale, they often become subject to compliance requirements that present new technology hurdles. Alloy went through the compliance process seamlessly thanks to the security capabilities and certifications behind MongoDB Atlas. "We're servicing larger clients and seeing different use cases," Mojica said. "The compliance process involved questions about where we're storing data and if we're in different regions. Once your company is big enough, it's a major concern. Just having SOC 2 certification and making sure we're following all the various data privacy rules is really important. We're effectively an intermediary for customer data, so compliance is really important, like when we are deleting data for GDPR requests. MongoDB Atlas helps us with that. It's SOC 2 certified, and we can deploy in any region on any of the major cloud providers. For us, that meant setting up a Network Peering Connection to our AWS VPC from Atlas. So, from a security and compliance perspective, we know that's all taken care of." Making the MongoDB connection "We added a MongoDB connector to our platform because we were hearing interest from our user base,” Mojica explained. “If you want to integrate with a series of different tools and you're also sending data to MongoDB Atlas, instead of having to build those integrations every time, Alloy already has the infrastructure. You can just connect your system, stream the data, and we handle all the architecture. Something that would normally take weeks or months now takes only a few hours. That's the power of the no-code platform." The Alloy–MongoDB integration includes bidirectional sync. "Your connection with MongoDB Atlas can go both ways,” Mojica added. “You can pull data and you can push data. You can do scheduled workflows once an hour or once a day, make a query, get some data from MongoDB, check if a record was added, and then send the data to another platform or destination. The bidirectional sync is really important, because integration really is the ability to get data, but also push data." Support for startups As a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, Alloy enjoys access to a wide range of resources, including free credits to our best-in-class developer data platform, MongoDB Atlas , and personalized technical advice, among other perks. Alloy leveraged the program from an early stage, as Mojica explained, "The credits were very helpful in the beginning, especially when you're in Y Combinator and don't have a lot of money in the bank. We recently started getting in touch for support. In fact, just knowing that we have support is very valuable." To learn more about Alloy, check out runalloy.com . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now .

August 31, 2022

The Power of Qualified Research That Companies Can Trust

Research is invaluable. Companies need research on prospective and current customers to analyze trends, evaluate purchasing decisions, and produce the best products that they can. Customers need research on what to buy, where to buy, and who to buy it from. Phonic is a research software startup with a mission to break down the barriers between quantitative and qualitative research to allow businesses to collect genuine insights at a scale that they can trust. Phonic CTO Mitch Catoen says that the pain point the company is addressing revolves around scaling. “Qualitative research is really good, and yields really good information, but it doesn’t scale quite like quantitative research does,” Catoen explains. The key, Catoen says, is that Phonic takes an analytics-first approach.“When we think about emotional intelligence, multimodal sentiment, and tag extraction, these are things that were built for our research platform, and the research platform sits on top of them. The customers of Phonic know they can trust our analytics more than any other platform,” When it came time to decide how Phonic was going to build its technology, one of the most critical pieces the company wanted was a NoSQL database. Catoen wanted Phonic to pick a NoSQL database and a document-based database because Phonic was changing schema so frequently, and did not have a rigid data model from day one. For these reasons, Catoen says that working with MongoDB Atlas was "a pretty obvious choice." The decision to go with MongoDB meant that Catoen and other company leaders could spend their valuable time thinking about the business and how to provide actual business value for their customers. “With MongoDB, we effectively leverage the entire core feature set,” Catoen says. “We run a lot of aggregation pipelines, which are super, super useful with dealing with large amounts of data. We can scale up and down with our cluster to support more, and that’s been fantastic.” Phonic’s tech stack is pretty simple in order to keep developer velocity high, Catoen says, the same motivations the team had when picking its NoSQL database. Phonic runs a React frontend, a Python backend, communicates with their MongoDB cluster, and uses RabbitMQ for event streaming. Google Cloud has been a critical part of Phonic’s success, as well, Catoen says. Phonic utilizes its cloud functions on Google Cloud, including its storage for distributed file storage, and on App Engine because of Google Cloud’s auto-scaling, especially when the company gets hit with a jump in traffic overnight. As for plans for the future, Catoen says the company is looking for a Series A round of funding and will launch an asynchronous research product. “Building up this conversation intelligence suite is going to be very important to the Phonic ecosystem going forward,” Catoen says. “We’re very excited about that.” Learn more about the MongoDB for Startups program.

July 13, 2022

Built With MongoDB: Overcoming Employee Burnout Through Pioneera

Everyone can feel burned out from time to time. Working late hours to meet that project deadline, checking your phone on the weekend for any missed Slack messages from coworkers, an endless stream of Zoom calls — workplace stress can add up quickly and does not leave much room for taking care of yourself. With so much on your plate at any given time, it can be hard to pick up on the warning signs of burnout. One Australian startup has made its mission to prevent employees from reaching burnout with software trained to pick up on those warning signs and alert you. The application, Indie , from Australian startup Pioneera , sends personalized notifications in real time, when employees need them the most. Similar to a spellchecker, Indie helps individuals, teams, and companies prevent burnout. Built With MongoDB spoke with our 2022 MongoDB Savvy Startup Innovation Award winner , Danielle Owen Whitford , who founded Pioneera in 2018. Whitford discussed how she came up with the idea, how the software works, and what the future of Pioneera holds. Built With MongoDB: What is Pioneera all about? Danielle Owen Whitford: Pioneera uses early warning indicators to help reduce workplace stress and prevent burnout in a confidential and safe way. And when we see those early warning signs, helping that person get the help they need in real time to reduce their stress, promote wellness, improve productivity — all that good stuff. Essentially we are trying to use technology to prevent mental health issues in the workplace, which are rising at an alarming rate. Where did the names Pioneera and Indie come from? Our mission is to pioneer a new era of work, and it just came out as Pioneera! As for the name Indie, it’s actually named after my daughter. Our first MVP had a different name, and we had some mixed responses to the name. I was part of SheStarts, an accelerator program in Australia, and I was talking to my fellow founders about some of the experiences I had with my daughter and how she courageously called me out on working too hard. They said, “Why don’t you call the bot Indie?” Customers and users loved it, so Indie bot was a keeper. What are some examples of common stress signals that Indie picks up? We assess language, linguistic markers, and behaviors as the three key areas. From a language point of view, we see that there are certain types of words that are used within a workplace context that are exhibitors of stress. For example, when we’re stressed in real life, we say that we’re stressed, but at work we’re more likely to say, “I feel stretched.” And that’s a word that we have built into our scoring system, which we developed with a psychologist. On the positive side, we look for words like achievement and win. We also look for behavior — how we act in the workplace, particularly around our communication systems, because that’s where Indie sits. What made you decide to start Pioneera? I burned myself out in 2016. I spent 20 years in big companies and had a whole range of senior roles, from running retail networks and call centers to large-scale transformation. It’s not like I was hidden away in the organization — I reported into the executive team and was very visible, so we all saw the signs. I loved what I did, but I didn’t see the warning signs. I left because I felt like I had no other options. In hindsight I know that I did, but at the time, I just couldn't see past where I was at. That is a classic sign of burnout. I took a bit of time off. I started looking at my former colleagues and my peers, and I realized this burnout phenomenon was happening everywhere. I used to see emails from my team that said, “Here we go again” and “I don’t want to do this anymore.” My first degree was in psychology and my second was a Masters in Communication, so I instinctively responded to that language. So if I saw it, I would call them up and ask what was going on. My teams didn’t burn out and they always delivered. But clearly nobody had seen that for me, and I missed all the signs myself, so I burned out. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could automate that for everyone?” The naivete in me thought that if Microsoft created a spell-checker, surely it can’t be that hard to create a spell-checker for stress. We know the language is there — we’ve all gotten emails from people where we know they’re having a bad day. That’s what I set out to do, to take my 20 years of experience and turn that into how I could help prevent this burnout from happening. I wanted Indie to do for the world what I had done for my colleagues. Burnout happens at an individual level, but the impacts are pretty significant — not just for that person or their family, but also for the workplace and then for society in general. We’re seeing health care costs that are through the roof, and we’re going to see long-term impacts on the next generation in terms of the ability to educate. These serious social issues are something I knew I needed to turn my attention to. In terms of employees, can you explain who has access to what information? We’re obsessed with privacy and confidentiality, and it's built into every part of the product. Everything is done in a way that protects the confidentiality and privacy of the individual. We did a lot of user testing before we started building the product, and users said that they really love this and the fact that their company would buy this for them. So it contributed to an employer value proposition. But, and it is a big but, they did not want their boss to know that they were stressed, because they thought they’d miss out on a project or HR would contact them or something like that. So that feedback has become the core of everything we do. What does the future of Pioneera look like? We’ve really upped our game on patterns of behaviors that indicate action is needed and the tips we provide to encourage action. We have partnered with expert psychologists to deliver content that is evidence- and research-based and proven to work. We’ve revolutionized our user experience to build connection and trust from the first moment a user hears about Indie. We’re looking to scale internationally with our vision for everyone globally to have Indie’s personalized, real-time support. What have you enjoyed the most about building Pioneera? It feels like there’s real meaning to what we’re doing and we’re actually making a difference in people's lives. I’ll get a call from a customer who says they were headed toward burnout and Indie stopped them. Or a call from a team manager delighted that they acted on Indie’s recommendations and their team is thriving. That sort of thing is always delightful to hear. I feel like we’re doing something positive for the world. How has working with MongoDB enabled Pioneera to succeed? The way the database is set up and structured has enabled us to focus on the things that we need to focus on, because we know MongoDB has our back. We’re a technology company building innovative technology, and we need to deliver our product to the market in a scalable, reliable way. You can run the risk of building a great technology, but it’s not actually a product that solves a problem for customers because the product features aren’t delivering value. MongoDB does technology really well, and that’s what we use it for — to make sure we’re delivering great product features and value to the customer today and tomorrow. Learn more about using Pioneera to overcome employee burnout and find out more about our MongoDB for Startups program .

June 16, 2022

Collaborative User Story Mapping with Avion and MongoDB

When companies think about their products, they often fall into the trap of planning without truly considering their user’s journey and experience. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about products from the customer's perspective. Avion was founded by James Sear and Tim Ramage with one thing in mind - to provide the most intuitive and enjoyable user story mapping experience for agile teams to use, from product inception to launch (and beyond). The key, Sear said, is that user story mapping gives you a way of thinking about your product and its features, typically software, from the perspective of your customers or users. This is facilitated by defining things that the user can do (user stories) within the context of your core user journeys. Built with MongoDB spoke with Sear about the idea of user story mapping, how he and Ramage started Avion, and what it’s been like to work with MongoDB. Built with MongoDB: What is Avion all about? James Sear : Avion is a digital user story mapping tool for product teams. It helps them to break down complexity, map out user journeys, build out the entire scope of their product and then decide what to deliver and in what order. It’s a valuable tool that is typically underused. Not everyone understands what story mapping is; as it’s quite a specific technique and you do have to put the time in to learn it in order to get the most out of it. But once you have, there is so much value to be unlocked, in terms of delivering better outcomes for your users, as opposed to just building stuff for the sake of it. Built with MongoDB: What made you decide to start Avion? Sear: My co-founder Tim Ramage and I met around 2014, and we were jointly involved in teams that were building lots of different software products for various companies, both big and small. And while we were very involved in their technical implementation, we were also both really interested in the product management side of delivery, because it’s just so crucial to be successful. That includes everything from UX decisions, product roadmapping prioritization, customer feedback, metrics, managing the team, it all really interested us. However, one thing that we found a particularly difficult part of the process, was taking your clients’ big ideas and translating them into some sort of actionable development plan. We tried a few different approaches for this, until we stumbled across a technique called user story mapping. User story mapping manages to pull together all of your core user journeys, the scope of all features that could be built, and how you plan to deliver them. On top of that, it conveys the order in which you should be working on things. Once you have this powerful asset, you can have effective conversations with your team, and answer the most important questions, such as—what’s the minimum we can build to make this valuable to users, where does this feature actually appear for our users or what we are going to build next, and why?. It really does allow you to communicate more effectively with stakeholders. For instance, you could use it to update your CEO and talk them through what you’re building now, answering those difficult questions like why you’re not building feature X or feature Y. You’ve got this outline right in front of you that makes sense to a product person, a developer, or even an outside stakeholder. Built with MongoDB: Initially, you started to build out a collaborative tool for product teams, and Avion has evolved into more. What else has changed in your journey at Avion? Sear: Our goal at launch was to provide our customers with a best-in-class story mapping experience in the browser. This meant nailing the performance and user interaction, so creating a story map just felt fluid and easy. After this, we focused on tightly integrating with more traditional backlog tools, like Jira and Azure DevOps. We always maintain that our customers shouldn’t have to give up their existing tooling to get value from Avion — so we built it to sit in the middle of their stack and assist them with planning and delivery. Built with MongoDB: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced in such a crowded productivity space? Sear: It’s difficult to stick out amongst the crowd, but our unique value proposition is actually quite niche. This allows us to show our potential customers a different side of product planning that they might not have seen before. And for anyone that already knows about story mapping, Avion is an opinionated and structured canvas for them to just get work done and be productive quickly. Ultimately, we try to stick out by providing value in a vertical slice of product planning that is often overlooked. Built with MongoDB: What kind of experiences have you had working with MongoDB? Sear: There have been many scenarios where we’ve been debugging difficult situations with production scaling issues, and we just cannot work out why the apps have gone down overnight. There are so many tricky things that come up when you’re running in production. But we have always managed to find something in MongoDB Atlas that can help us just try and pinpoint that issue, whether it’s some usage graphs, or some kind of metrics that allows us to really dig down into the collections, the queries, and everything so MongoDB has been excellent for that in terms of features. It just gives you that peace of mind, we’ve had customers delete stuff of their own accord, and get really upset, but we’ve been able to help them by going back to snapshot backups and retrieving that data for them. From a customer support perspective, it’s massive to have that option on the table. MongoDB Atlas is really useful to us and we don’t have to configure anything, it’s just amazing. The MongoDB upgrades are completely seamless, and help us stay on the latest version of the database which is a huge win for security. Learn more about user story mapping with Avion , and start planning a more user-centric backlog. Interested in learning more about MongoDB for Startups? Learn more about us on the MongoDB Startups page .

May 19, 2022

Semeris Demystifies Legal Documents Using MongoDB

Sorting through endless legal documents can be a time-consuming and burdensome process, but one startup says it doesn’t have to be that way. Semeris strives to demystify legal documentation by using the latest artificial intelligence and natural language processing techniques. Semeris’s goal is to put the information its customers need at their fingertips when and where they need it. Semeris aims to bring structure to capital market legal documents, while providing a first-class service to customers and blending together the disciplines of finance, law, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence. In this edition of Built with MongoDB, we talk with Semeris about how they use MongoDB Atlas Search to help customers analyze documents and extract data as quickly as possible. Built with MongoDB spoke with Semeris CEO, Peter Jasko , about his vision for the company, working with MongoDB, the company’s relationship with venture capital firm QVentures , and the value of data. In this video, Peter Jasko explains how MongoDB Atlas's fully managed service and support has been a key factor in helping Semeris scale. Built with MongoDB: Can you tell us about Semeris? Peter Jasko: We help our investor banking and lawyer clients analyze legal documentation. We help them extract information from the documentation that they look at. A typical transaction might have 500 to 1,000 pages of documentation, and we help them to analyze that really quickly and pull out the key information that they need to be able to review that documentation within a couple hours, rather than the 7 or 8 hours it would normally take. Built with MongoDB: What is the value of data in your space? Peter: Data is essential in what we do because we build models around the publicly available documentation that we see. We store that data, we analyze it, we build machine learning models around it, and then we use that to analyze less seen documentation or more private documentation that our clients have internally. Built with MongoDB: How has your partnership with QVentures helped Semeris? Peter: Our partnership with QVentures is not just a financial one where they’ve invested some money into our firm; they’ve also helped us uncover contacts within the market. They introduced us to the MongoDB partnership that has helped us get some credits and build out our technology onto the MongoDB platform. Built with MongoDB: What has it been like using MongoDB’s technology? Peter: We chose MongoDB because it’s a scalable solution, and it has a strong developer following. It’s easier for us to hire tech developers who understand the technology because MongoDB has such a strong following in the community. If we have small issues with the technology, we’re very quickly able to search and find the answer to learn how we need to resolve that. Additionally, scalability is really important to us. And, what we found is that the MongoDB platform scales both in compute and also in storage seamlessly. We get a notification that more storage is required, and we can upgrade that online and with no customer impact and no downtime. It's really, really seamless. Another reason we chose MongoDB is that it’s cloud agnostic. We're on AWS now, but we're almost certainly at some point going to be asked from customers to look at Azure or Google. So it's really beneficial to us that MongoDB works on all the different platforms that we look at. Built with MongoDB: What are some of the features you use within MongoDB? Peter: We use MongoDB Atlas Search because of its ability to retrieve thousands of data points from multiple documents. We use the indexing capability there, and the key thing that we find is that our customers want to retrieve thousands of data points from multiple different documents. A lot of our customers are analysts or investment portfolio managers, and they want that information in their hands as quickly as possible. Built with MongoDB: What is some advice you’d give to aspiring founders and CEOs? Peter: Try lots of things and try them quickly. Try lots of little spikes, and take the ones that work well, and eventually put those into production. Really focus on what your customers want. Ultimately, we tried a lot of different ideas, some of which we thought were great. But you have to put it in front of your customers to be able to decide which ones are really worth spending time on and putting into production quality and which ones you should just let fall by the wayside as research done but not ultimately used. Find out more about Semeris Docs . Interested in learning more about MongoDB for Startups? Check out our Startups page .

May 4, 2022

Finding The Right Career Move Thanks to Flexa and MongoDB

Anyone who has ever searched for a job knows just how frustrating the process can be. Whether you’re switching companies in the same industry, searching for something completely different, or a little bit of both, it’s difficult to find the right fit. Thankfully, Flexa was built to make that process smoother for employees and companies alike. Flexa was designed with one simple mission - bring flexible working to everyone. The company says it isn’t as simple as asking every company to tick a box; Flexa understands that flexibility means something different to everyone. Flexa is here to provide some clarity to help everyone find work that works for them. MongoDB for Startups spoke with Flexa’s CEO and co-founder Molly Johnson-Jones, co-founder Maurice O'Brien, and CTO & co-founder, Tim Leppard, to discuss their company, their investment partner QVentures , and the MongoDB for Startups program. MongoDB for Startups: What exactly is Flexa? Johnson-Jones: Flexa is an employer brand and talent acquisition platform. What we do is help companies get discovered for their brilliant working environments. It could be flexible working, dog friendly offices, enhanced parental leave. That's all searchable and filterable by our users and it means that we're bringing transparency to the global job hunting market. You'll know exactly what it's like to start at a company before you've even applied there, not at the end of an interview process. Flexa's mission is to bring true transparency to the global job hunting process, meaning that you could be in New York looking for a job in London and you would know that you could bring your dog and work from home whenever you wanted and travel around the world at your next company. MongoDB for Startups: How has Flexa changed or pivoted since its inception? Johnson-Jones: The initial vision for Flexa was actually pretty different to what we do today. When we first launched in February 2020, we were more of what you'd call a pure job platform. We found companies, we verified them as flexible through our two stage benchmarking process. But then we focused much more on specific individual jobs and whether they were flexible. You'd come on a site like Indeed or LinkedIn and you'd apply and you'd apply through Flexa. But we started to realize that actually the problem was much bigger than just individual jobs. It should be tackled at a company level. Providing transparency on a company level all over the world and looking more at culture and purpose and working environment was the right way to go. People didn't need to apply to more jobs in more places, they needed a reference to something that would enable them to actually find transparency and to know exactly what it was like to work at a company, not just a specific job for reactive hiring. MongoDB for Startups: Can you speak about the partnership Flexa has with QVentures? O’Brien: Our partnership with QVentures has been very important for us in terms of our scaling. QVentures actually led the very first funding round that we did. It's been huge for us in our growth. It gave us the capacity to hire more people, to market our products, and to build brand awareness and reach out to a much wider user base than we would have had the chance to otherwise. MongoDB for Startups: How has QVentures helped in Flexa’s growth? O’Brien: QVentures has helped us in a number of ways, aside from just obviously financially. They provide a lot of advice for us, whether that's strategic or hiring. They've also been great for introductions on the B2B side, so some of our Flexified clients have come through QVentures. They're always willing to help out with spreading the word around general brand awareness pieces that we do, like webinars, which is really helpful for us as a growing business. MongoDB for Startups: How has MongoDB enabled you to not only build out but also scale the business? Leppard: At Flexa, we collect data on the flexibility and employee benefits of companies, and the desires of our users, and the requirements they have for their new roles. MongoDB offers the ability for us to rapidly change the data we collect. The world of work is changing all the time, whether it’s the benefits, the flexible working practices that people expect or the change in company offerings, and we need to adapt to those very quickly. MongoDB has allowed us to adapt and scale very rapidly with those things in mind. MongoDB for Startups: What has your experience been with the scalability of MongoDB? Leppard: When it comes to scalability, we decided to use MongoDB Atlas. There's plenty of things to think about when you're founding a company, and infrastructure and operations is one that you want to try and minimize. Atlas gives us the ability to scale as we need to and scaling has been pretty painless as the company has grown. MongoDB for Startups: What features have you leveraged on MongoDB Atlas? Leppard: One of the features we use is MongoDB Atlas's text search features. This has been huge for us. It allows us to offer search for companies and jobs to our users, and to really offer a very accurate text search for people looking for particular requirements and flexibility options. MongoDB for Startups: What are the compliance needs for your data? Leppard: At Flexa, we store users' personal information, and so security is very important to us. Our GDPR requirements are very important to us, and MongoDB Atlas gives us the security that we need, so we don't have to worry about compliance. Additionally, MongoDB alleviates the concern of maintaining compliance as things change overtime. Interested in understanding how your company's working environment measures up against the market? Take Flexa’s free quiz to find out! Interested in learning more abour MongoDB for Startups? Learn more about us here .

April 20, 2022

QVentures and MongoDB Partner to Support the Next Generation of B2B SaaS Founders

No matter the industry, every startup begins with the same thing — an idea. The challenge is taking that idea and manifesting it into the real world with real world customers. To build a highly scalable and successful venture you need the right funding partner. Every startup needs investment, but what founders must understand is that what is truly paramount to their future success is finding the right funding partner who will be a value add, and not just a capital injection. VC’s such as QVentures fit that mold of being a value addition to the success of a startup’s journey. QVentures is a venture capital firm that provides direct investment opportunities and fund management to take companies from Seed to Series B. Together, MongoDB for Startups and QVentures offer prospective companies their best path forward towards becoming successful. MongoDB’s Startup Partnership Manager Julian Busch spoke with QVentures’ Head of Origination Alex Cochand and Managing Partner Robert Walsh to discuss their company and its partnership with MongoDB for Startups. What is your overall mission at QVentures? Alex Cochand: Our mission is really twofold. From our perspective, one of the major reasons that businesses fail is through a lack of funding. And really that's a discovery problem. Those companies struggle to find interested, active, and supportive investors that buy into their mission. And we support that discovery. Robert Walsh: The mission of QVentures is to work very closely with our investors, who are family offices and UHNWIs, and bring them together with entrepreneurs and founders of businesses between the levels of seed to series B. We very much focus on looking at tech companies for the next generation of investments. The family offices we work very closely with are often the first generation investing into venture capital and are able to pass on their experience to support founders in ways outside of capital. Do you have an investment thesis when investing in startups? Walsh: Our thesis is to invest into enterprise SaaS, marketplaces, B2B enterprise SaaS, and B2B consumer tech businesses that are highly scalable with next generational founders. What advice would you give founders when thinking about fundraising with a VC? Cochand: Start fundraising early. Everyone thinks that it’s going to be a very quick process, you're going to meet the investor of your dreams, and you'll have cash in your bank within a couple of weeks. The reality is that no matter who you are and no matter how great your business is, it always takes longer than you want. There's always more process. There are always hiccups. And you need to make sure that you have more than enough runway to make it through to the end of your fundraise. Are you seeing trends or frequent mistakes that founders make when engaging QVentures? Cochand: Selling the product rather than the business. You sell individual functionalities of the thing that you're building because that's what you're doing day-to-day. Your eyes are directly on building out the product that you want to take out to the market. Instead, when you're speaking to investors, you need to be pitching the mission, the business, and what the opportunity for scale and growth is. Walsh: Being a founder is very difficult. Mistakes are something that I don't think is a fair statement. I would say, we do see trends. We see people who have ideas that might not be good businesses to invest in and who can become very frustrated with that. More importantly, we look for is industry leaders, who are looking to bring technology into new markets. What value do corporate partnerships, like with MongoDB for Startups, bring to the founders in your portfolio? Cochand: We see a huge amount of value in partnerships. It allows us to take the value-add that we offer to our startups to a completely new level. We're very good at the fundraising piece, and that's where we offer our value to the startups that we work with. Through partnering with companies like MongoDB and others, we're able to take that to the 10x. Walsh: What surprised me about our initial partnership, is that companies at various stages in their growth journey are engaging with MongoDB. We’ve seen multiple companies from our Pre-Seed Fund find great value in MongoDB’s services, as well as our portfolio companies who are at later stages. This shows that there's a value in this technology. So focusing again on startup founders, building companies from scratch, finding value in the MongoDB platform, what role does data play in that space? Walsh: Data is a very important piece of the puzzle when you're evaluating a company, because there isn't that much real IP in the idea. It's how you track it, and it's quite frankly execution, and what can you do to learn off of that data. A founder who doesn't use data is a founder who might miss something. Cochand: If we look at where the biggest technological changes are coming from, where the real value is being driven at the moment, a lot of that is coming through technologies, particularly in the ML and AI space. And what drives those, and what enables you to differentiate, is through proprietary access to data. And that's where the real value is with that. If you can mine it in a way that it's accessible and usable, and store in a way that you can then easily access and run your models off of, you're always going to be a step ahead of your competition. Where do you see QVentures in 10 years or do you predict any macro changes in the VC landscape? Walsh: QVentures in 10 years will probably have several billion of assets under management. And I also see the venture capital industry here changing tremendously due to the macro themes that are following the US, such as pension funds will start entering into macro. If you think of the amount of long duration and high yielding assets, I see venture capital following the private equity move of the 90s. So if you look at the KKR and Apollo or anything like that you're going to see QVentures as part of that next wave. Cochand: Where we want to take QVentures in the next 10 years is becoming a hub for access to the venture capital and the tech community for predominantly family offices and ultra high net worths. No matter how they want to invest, no matter how they want to interact with startups, they can come through QVentures for that. If they want to come through a fund structure, if they want to invest directly into singular businesses, or if they want to look at things like venture debt or managed accounts, we have a product offering that we can pass out to them. Title of the document table, th, td { padding: 10px; border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } Takeaways for Founders: Start fundraising early “Everyone thinks that there's going to be a very quick process. You're going to meet the investor of your dreams, and you'll have cash in your bank within a couple of weeks,” Cochand said. “The reality is that no matter who you are and no matter how great your business is, it always takes longer than you want. There's always more process. There are always hiccups. And you just want to make sure that you have more than enough runway to make sure that you make it through to the end of your funding event.” Do your own VC diligence prior to engaging Founders should always do their diligence prior to engaging VC’s. Understand the investment thesis of a VC before reaching out. For example, as Robert stated, “Our thesis is to invest into enterprise SaaS, marketplaces, B2B enterprise SaaS, and B2B consumer tech businesses that are highly scalable with next generational founders.” If you are a CPG startup, QVentures would not be a likely investment target for you to engage with. Do not waste your valuable time or the VC’s by reaching out even when they do not invest in your space. When pitching VC’s, don't sell your product, sell your business “Common mistakes that I see founders make when they come to fundraise is selling the product rather than the business,” Cochand said. “You sell individual functionalities of the thing that you're building because that's what you're doing day to day. Your eyes are directly on building out the product that you want to take out to the market. Instead, when you're speaking to investors, you need to be pitching the mission, the business, and what the opportunity for scale and growth is.” Title of the document table, th, td { padding: 10px; border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } Takeaways for VC’s: Build value add partnerships with corporations who can fill knowledge gaps in your team “We see a huge amount of value in partnerships. It allows us to take the value-add that we offer to our startups to a completely new level,” Cochand said. “We're very good at the fundraising piece, and that's where we offer our value to the startups that we work with. Through partnering with companies like MongoDB and others, we're able to take that to the 10x.” A prediction on the shifting VC Landscape: “I also see the venture capital industry here changing tremendously due to the macro themes that are following the US, such as pension funds will start entering into macro,“ Walsh said. “If you think of the amount of long duration and high yielding assets, I see venture capital following the private equity move of the 90s. So if you look at the KKR and Apollo or anything like that you're going to see QVentures as part of that next wave.” When looking at potential investment opportunities, VC’s should look for founders who understand and leverage data “Data is a very important piece of the puzzle when you're evaluating a company,” Walsh said. “Because there isn't that much real IP in an idea. It's how you track it, and it's quite frankly execution, and what you do to learn off of that data. A founder who doesn't use data is a founder who might miss something.” Don't be that founder not leveraging their data. Sign up for the MongoDB for Startups program today.

April 6, 2022