Apono Streamlines Data Access with MongoDB Atlas
In today's world of ever-evolving cloud technology, many organizations are struggling to effectively manage data access. From companies that have no access policies in place and allow anyone to access any data, to those that have an existing solution but it's only on-premises, there's a desperate need for cloud-based access management. Apono is an easy-to-use platform that allows centralized access management, removing the trouble of having to depend on a single person to control access to the data. Apono brings reliable access management to the cloud, providing organizations with the security they need to protect their valuable information. And, as a member of the MongoDB for Startups program, Apono is accelerating its evolution as it seeks to expand its capabilities and its offering. MongoDB for Startups offers free MongoDB Atlas credits, one-on-one technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to our vast partner network. Access that's as granular as you need it As organizations work to find the right balance of granular data access, they've often relied on a combination of workflow builders to make it happen. The way this often plays out is that just one person becomes the de facto expert in managing this system, leaving everyone else in the dark. And when they're gone, so is the expertise for managing ongoing access. Apono is a go-to solution for securely managing access to the most confidential and sensitive cloud resources businesses possess, from production environments to applications. It simplifies database access management across all three major cloud providers. A lot of database access management solutions only help with cluster access management, self-hosted databases, or cloud databases — but rarely not all of them. Apono enables organizations to manage access to database solutions whether they are self-hosted or in the cloud. Apono enables highly granular permissions, going beyond granting access to a cluster. It allows you to manage access to individual databases. In MongoDB Atlas, Apono goes as far as allowing you to manage access to individual collections. Apono is unique in its ability to offer that level of granular access management. Simplified and streamlined user experience From restricting read and write access to granting temporary permissions, Apono makes it easy for administrators to manage the entire process with a few clicks. According to the company's own internal data, about 80% of administrators are able to create access flows without any help in under two minutes. It's a very intuitive solution that also gives you full visibility into who is accessing or requesting access to resources and for how long. Administrators can choose how they want to interact with the Apono UX. They can use the intuitive administrator portal, the command line interface (CLI), Terraform, or the Apono API. From an end-user standpoint, Apono supports Slack, Teams, CLI, and a web portal with time-saving administrative features like request again and favorites. Additional time-savers include the ability to automate much of the process of granting permissions. Surprisingly, many organizations still handle permissions on an ad hoc basis through informal, one-off requests over text or email. Apono enables administrators to automate access flows, which not only saves time but is also more secure because it reduces the likelihood that someone will assign the wrong permission to a person or group by mistake. Apono also makes it easy to conduct access reviews, which are often required for regulatory purposes. These reviews can also be scheduled and automated so that reports are automatically shared with the stakeholders who need them. The security perimeter in the age of the cloud Back when most systems were primarily on-prem, it was critical to set up a security perimeter that limited access to anything behind the network firewall. Today, with remote work, cloud architectures, and the proliferation of edge devices, there is no longer one single firewall. Rather, identity has become the new security perimeter. "People work from anywhere, any IP, any device, even their phones. So it's becoming increasingly important to make sure that users have just the right amount of privileges," says Sharon Kisluk, Lead Product Manager at Apono. "If I give someone standing admin access to a cluster, what happens if they destroy the entire cluster by accident?" To prevent data loss due to human error or incorrect permissions, Apono works under the principle of least privilege, which means that any user or operation is allowed to access only the information and resources that are necessary for its legitimate purpose. That's why, out of the box, Apono gives you the ability to restrict all access to critical production environments. Multi-cloud access control The maturity of today's cloud computing has led to a large majority — around 87% — of companies to deploy to multiple cloud environments. Like MongoDB Atlas , Apono is available on all three major cloud platforms: AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Also like MongoDB Atlas, Apono supports self-hosted Kubernetes. "We realized that people hate working with so many different role-based access control systems," says Kisluk. "Each system has its own user management. If you create policies or permissions in AWS, you have to do the same thing in Google Cloud and Azure if you're multi-cloud, and then you have to do the same thing for the databases." With Apono, you can create access flow bundles, which is a role abstraction that works across systems. For example, you can create a role called, "prod access" that enables you to access production databases and grant permission to only those who require access to those systems. And any system that's tagged as a production system will inherit those permissions, even if they're hosted by different cloud providers. Using MongoDB Atlas combined with Apono, administrators can establish global access policies and roll them out across the entire distributed system with just a few clicks. Product roadmap Apono was recently named to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Privileged Access Management (PAM). While the recognition was unexpected at Apono, Kisluk says it just goes to show how Apono is truly the next thing in cloud PAM. Apono is expanding its cloud PAM by offering more complex access flow scenarios, or what is often referred to as, "if this, then that." These are scenarios that are triggered based on certain conditions being met. For example, if there's a production incident, you can grant access automatically for only the duration of the bug fix without submitting a special request. Get to know Apono Apono is a self-serve solution, so anyone can sign up with their email, connect to their cloud environment and database, and start using the product. Apono will also be at AWS re:Invent to be held in Las Vegas from November 27 to December 1. Don't forget to visit them and, of course, MongoDB and find out how these two powerful solutions are simplifying and streamlining privilege access management for developers and systems administrators. Sign up for our MongoDB for Startups program today!
Impactive Makes ESG Integration and Stewardship Reporting Easier for Investment Firms
Driven by regulations and high demand from asset owners, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance is now a critical factor in almost every aspect of asset management. But the reporting and management of complex ESG activities is challenging to implement because of the rigidity of legacy data architectures. Investment managers need to be able to seamlessly integrate ESG data, actively engage with portfolio companies on material sustainability issues, and deliver comprehensive reporting and disclosures with increasing accuracy. Legacy silos prevent this from happening. Without a process for managing and sharing data between stakeholders, efficiency is compromised and transparency becomes elusive. UK-based start-up Impactive has just started on their journey to make responsible investing easier by providing a dedicated workspace in which investment and ESG analysts can record their ESG interactions and engagements with companies, and centralize ESG and proxy voting data. This helps break down data silos and democratize data within investment firms, making it possible for different stakeholders, including reporting and client-facing teams, to self-serve to obtain the information they need. Co-founder and CEO Mais Callan started Impactive in 2022 after experiencing these frustrations first-hand in her day-to-day work in the investment industry. Mais Callan started her career in asset management, just before the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) were launched in 2006, establishing a framework for incorporating ESG factors into investment practices. Hermes Investment Management, the firm where Mais Callan started her career, was a founding signatory of the PRI and a pioneer in responsible investment and thinking about ESG. The financial crisis in 2008 highlighted the inadequacies in corporate governance and catalyzed the investment industry’s adoption of responsible investment practices. After a decade at Hermes, and having developed its ESG integration strategy, she set up a consultancy in which she helped other asset managers with their ESG frameworks. She later worked at a major UK pension fund focusing on investment stewardship. In those roles, she noticed a recurring theme: There wasn't a technology solution or process to help facilitate the aggregation, integration, processing, and reporting of ESG activities. At the time, her husband, Impactive Co-founder and CTO Simon Callan, was Head of Product Architecture in the financial services industry. So, he built a prototype that she could put in front of her investment network. That's how Impactive was born. How financial data silos form One of the barriers to sharing data for ESG reporting has been the reluctance of financial services firms to move away from legacy architectures, which have a tendency to become siloed over time. In his experience as a software developer and architect in financial services, Simon Callan observed that as systems evolved, new needs arose, which led to the procurement of new platforms to address these always-changing needs. As these systems proliferated, a desire to integrate all of them emerged. "Data silos are a pervasive issue in mature organizations. As the technology landscape evolves, there's a lack of a coherent view across different systems,” Simon Callan says. "This is particularly prevalent in financial services where there are strong controls in place and certain ways of doing things, often with a skilled in-house team who know their systems inside out." Callan adds that the situation is compounded in highly regulated environments, where large technology transformations are treated with caution and there is less willingness to be a first mover. Consequently, internal IT teams might not get the same exposure to modern practices as their counterparts in more agile spaces. They're less likely to re-architect their IT landscape to take advantage of new tech and approaches to truly unlock the value in their data. Another issue is the multitude of data sources in the sector. ESG and financial data, whether it's from Bloomberg, Reuters, or proprietary research that the analysts within the organization performed, come from many different and disparate sources, so aggregating and reporting on it requires chasing it down. The problem is, some people have access to data because they're responsible for regulatory compliance, but other teams, like client-facing sales and marketing, don't have access to the same information in a format that they can understand or where it's contextualized. "The data isn't democratized," Simon Callan says, "and they're missing out on that holistic view." This results in an inability to deliver new requirements in the event of new regulations or if an existing one changes. Siloed data is bad for organizations because it creates a lot of manual tasks, he says. It also leads to further data hoarding. This is where data silos and inefficiency happen. Impactive is taking a self-service approach to bringing data together, which is why Simon Callan chose to work with MongoDB Atlas. Jumpstarting app development Simon Callan calls the choice of MongoDB Atlas a no-brainer because of all the different types of relationships they needed to model. "When we started out, we had a rough idea of what our data model was, the attributes, and how they would interconnect," he says. "But it would have been too rigid in the beginning if we had to keep maintaining and changing tables and columns." Because he had a history of working with relational databases, he understood the hurdles he would encounter along the way. "On the relational side, in my experience, basic problems emerge a lot quicker," he says. "We've seen basic things such as indexes missing and people getting tangled up in table relationships, things like that. MongoDB gives you a lot of leeway. It gave us the ability to just get going." Simon Callan says they work extensively with the aggregation framework and that he has come to appreciate how powerful it is and what it can do. The aggregation framework , MongoDB Atlas Search , MongoDB Atlas Charts , and ACID transactions are a few of the features being used already at Impactive and he expects to leverage more of the MongoDB ecosystem, such as queryable encryption , in the near future. Having multiple data sources for ESG research, voting, and other investment data means integrating them. "We aim to consume and ingest as many sources of data as possible," Simon Callan says. "We're not the replacement for an external, specialist system. We just want to surface the key facts, which can be used as a jump-off point to go deeper into the system and get further data. That's the approach we're taking. That’s what we mean by the ESG integration hub." Impactive and the developer experience Both at Impactive and outside of it, Simon Callan invests considerable time and resources toward improving the developer experience. In fact, it's more important than ever, he says. "I always ask engineers, 'Why do you not like helping yourself? Why do you keep doing this or that task manually?'" Over time, Simon Callan has seen the developer experience get easier. The tooling and services around it have improved, he says, and the appreciation of it. "There's kind of an internal customer, and it's the engineers. You have to look after them," he says. "MongoDB was born from an engineers-first mindset. If you can get the engineers on board, get them going, and get them active, it makes a difference," Simon Callan says. "MongoDB is a great example of starting with open source and building on from there." Being part of the MongoDB for Startups program, Impactive was able to get access to free credits and consultancy time with MongoDB experts. All MongoDB for Startups members get free credits for MongoDB Atlas and related MongoDB products, including Atlas Database, Atlas Search, and Atlas App Services. Members also get expert technical advice and can participate in joint sales motions and go-to-market opportunities. One of the big issues with confidential and sensitive ESG engagement data is security. After his consultation with MongoDB experts, Simon Callan was confident that they had the security measures in place to ensure that only authorized users have access to data, which is encrypted in transit and at rest. "The two-hour consultation was super high value. We covered a lot of ground such as Atlas setup best practices and how to monitor and set up alerts. Plus, the consultant patiently explained things and answered all my questions with a positive attitude," Simon Callan says. On a mission Impactive's mission is to help investment firms implement responsible investment effectively through technology so the big problems we're facing can actually be solved. It's not just about ticking checkboxes, it's about actually doing things meaningfully. Whether it's helping organizations report more easily to address regulatory concerns or eliminating the silos that have built up over time, Impactive acts as a central activity hub, where all investment interactions, ESG engagements, voting, and research share the same space. For more information about Impactive's solutions for ESG data and career opportunities, visit the website . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now . If you would like to know more about how MongoDB makes it easy to collect, analyze, and visualize ESG data in real time, read more here .
Aerofiler Brings Breakthrough Automation to the Legal Profession
Don Nguyen is the perfect person to solve a technology problem in the legal space. Don spent several years in software engineering before eventually becoming a lawyer, where he discovered just how much manual, administrative work legal professionals have to do. The company he co-founded, Aerofiler, takes the different parts of the contract lifecycle and digitises them to eliminate manual work, allowing lawyers to focus on things that require their expertise. Don says the legal profession has always been behind industries like accounting, marketing, and finance when it comes to leveraging technology to increase productivity. Both Don and his co-founder, Stuart Loh, thought they could automate a lot of manual tasks for legal professionals through an AI-powered contract lifecycle management solution. Turning mountains into automation Law firms generate mountains of paperwork that must be digitised and filed. Searching contracts post-execution can be an arduous task using the legacy systems most firms are running on today. Initially, Don, Stuart, and Jarrod Mirabito (co-founder and CTO) set out to make searching contracts and tracking obligations easier. As the service became more popular, customers started asking for more capabilities, like digitising and automating the approval process. Aerofiler's solution now manages the entire contract lifecycle, from drafting and negotiations to approvals, signing, and filing. Don says the difficulty with running AI to extract data is you can't usually see where the data is coming from, and you can't train your models, for example, to extract a concept that might be specific to your industry. Aerofiler supports custom extraction so firms can crawl for and find exactly the results they're looking for, and it highlights exactly where in the contract the data is found. Aerofiler is unique as a modern, cloud-based Contract Lifecycle Management solution that streamlines contract management processes and enhances workflow efficiency. It features AI-powered analytics, smart templates, and real-time collaboration tools, and is highly configurable to fit the unique needs of different companies. Aerofiler's user interface is also highly intuitive and user-friendly, leading to greater user adoption and overall efficiency. The startup stack Don has over 10 years of experience working with MongoDB and describes it as very robust. When it was time to choose a database for their startup, MongoDB Atlas was an easy choice. One of the big reasons Don chose Atlas is so they don't have to manage their own infrastructure. Atlas provides the functionality for text search, storage, and metadata retrieval, making it easy to hit the ground running. On top of MongoDB, the system runs Express.js, VueJS, and Node.js, also known as a MEVN stack. In choosing a database, Don points out that every assumption you make will have exceptions to it, and no matter what your requirements are now, they will inevitably change. So one of the key factors in making a decision is how that database will handle those changes when they come. In his experience, NoSQL databases like MongoDB are easy to deploy and maintain. And, with MongoDB offering ACID transactions , they get a lot of the functionality that they would otherwise look for in a relational database stack. How startups grow up Aerofiler is part of the MongoDB for Startups program, which helps early-stage, high-growth startups build faster and scale further. MongoDB for Startups offers 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. Don says the free credits helped the startup at a time when resources were tight. The key to their success, Don says, is in solving problems their customers have. In terms of the road ahead, Don is excited about ChatGPT and says there are some very interesting applications for generative AI in the legal space. If anyone would like to talk about what generative AI is and how it could work in the legal space, he's happy to take those calls and emails . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now .
Hydrus Helps Companies Improve ESG Performance
More organizations are embracing workforce diversity, environmental sustainability, and responsible corporate governance in an effort to improve their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance. As investors increasingly favor ESG in their portfolios, organizations are under greater pressure to capture, store, and verify ESG metrics. San Francisco-based startup, Hydrus, is helping companies make ESG data more usable and actionable. The platform Hydrus, a MongoDB for Startups program member, is a software platform that enables enterprises to collect, store, report, and act on their environmental, social, and governance data. ESG data includes things like: How a company safeguards the environment Its energy consumption and how it impacts climate change How it manages relationships with employees, suppliers, and customers Details about the company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, and internal controls The Hydrus platform enables organizations to collect, store, and audit diversity and environmental data, and run analytics and machine learning against that data. Hydrus offers users a first-rate UI/UX so that even non-technical users can leverage the platform. With the auditing capabilities, organizations can ensure the provenance and integrity of ESG data over time. Other solutions don't allow users to go back in time and determine who made changes to the data, why they made them, what earlier versions of the data looked like, and what time the changes were made. Hydrus gives users complete visibility into these activities. The tech stack MongoDB Atlas was the preferred database for Hydrus because of the flexibility of the data model. George Lee, founder and CEO of Hydrus, says the traditional SQL database model was too limiting for the startup's needs. MongoDB's document model eliminated the need to create tables or enforce restrictions of data fields. With MongoDB, they could simply add fields without undertaking any major schema changes. Hydrus also tapped MongoDB for access to engineers and technical resources. This enabled the company to architect its platform for all of the different types of sustainability data that exist. MongoDB technical experts helped Hydrus model data for future scalability and flexibility so it could add data fields when the need arises. On top of Atlas and MongoDB technical support, Hydrus leans heavily on MongoDB Charts , a data visualization tool for creating, sharing, and embedding visualizations from MongoDB Atlas. Charts enables Hydrus to derive insights from ESG data, giving its Fortune 200 clients better visibility into their operational efficiency. Charts uses a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to build charts and answer questions about ESG data. A Hydrus customer using MongoDB Charts was better able to understand the impact of their footprint from a greenhouse gas perspective and a resource usage perspective. Another customer detected a 30x increase in refrigerant usage in one of its facilities. The visual analytics generated with MongoDB Charts enabled the company to make changes to improve their ESG performance. MongoDB Charts enabled Hydrus to visualize sustainability data "MongoDB Charts enables our customers to directly report their sustainability data, customize the charts, and better tell the sustainability story in a visual format," Lee says. "It's way better than the traditional format where you have data, tables, and spreadsheets everywhere." The roadmap Hydrus seeks to take the hassle out of managing a sustainable business by streamlining data collection, reporting, and auditing processes. Its platform is designed to eliminate manual tasks for sustainability managers so they can focus on decarbonization, resource usage optimization, and being able to hit their sustainability goals. Hydrus accelerates these activities by helping companies model their sustainability data around science-based targets so they can better decarbonize and meet other ESG goals. If you're interested in learning more about how to help your organization become more sustainable, decarbonize, and succeed in your sustainability journey, visit the Hydrus website . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now . For more startup content, check out our wrap-up of the 2022 year in startups .
How Startups Stepped Up in 2022
After muddling through the global pandemic in 2021, entrepreneurs emerged in 2022 ready to transform the way people live, learn, and work. Through the MongoDB for Startups program, we got a close-up view of their progress. What we observed was a good indication of how critical data is to delivering the transformative experiences users expect. Data access vs. data governance The increasing importance of data in the digital marketplace has created a conflict that a handful of startups are working to solve: Granting access to data to extract value from it while simultaneously protecting it from unauthorized use. In 2022, we were excited to work with promising startups seeking to strike a balance between these competing interests. 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. At most organizations, providing access to data is a manual process often handled by a small team that's already being pulled in multiple directions by different parts of the organization. It's a time-consuming task that takes precious developer resources away from critical initiatives and slows down innovation. Data governance is a high priority for organizations because of the financial penalties of running afoul of data privacy regulations and the high cost of data breaches. While large enterprises make attractive targets, small businesses and startups in particular need to be vigilant because they can less afford financial and reputational setbacks. San Francisco-based startup Vanta is helping companies scale security practices and automate compliance for the most prevalent data security and privacy regulatory frameworks. Its platform gives organizations the tools they need to automate up to 90% of the work required for security audits. Futurology The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and natural language processing (NLP) remain at the forefront of innovation and are only beginning to fulfill their potential as transformative technologies. Through the MongoDB for Startups program, we worked with several promising ventures that are leveraging these technologies to deliver game-changing solutions for both application developers and users. Delaware-based startup Qubitro helps companies bring IoT solutions to market faster by making the data collected from mobile and IoT devices accessible anywhere it's needed. Qubitro creates APIs and SDKs that let developers activate device data in applications. With billions of devices producing massive amounts of data, the potential payoff in enabling data-driven decision making in modern application development is huge. London-based startup Concured uses AI technology to help marketers know what to write about and what's working for themselves and their competitors. It also enables organizations to personalize experiences for website visitors. Concured uses NLP to generate semantic metadata for each document or article and understand the relationship between articles on the same website. Another London-based startup using AI and NLP to deliver transformative experiences is Semeris . Analyzing legal documents is a tedious, time-consuming process, and Semeris enables legal professionals to reduce the time it takes to extract information from documentation. The company’s solution creates machine learning (ML) models based on publicly available documentation to analyze less seen or more private documentation that clients have internally The language we use in day-to-day communication says a lot about our state of mind. Sydney-based startup Pioneera looks at language and linguistic markers to determine if employees are stressed out at work or at risk for burnout. When early warning signs are detected, the person gets the help they need to reduce stress, promote wellness, and improve productivity confidentially and in real time. Technologies like AR and VR are transforming learning for students. Palo Alto-based startup Inspirit combines 3D and VR instruction to create an immersive learning experience for middle and high school students. The platform helps students who love science engage with the subject matter more deeply and those who dislike it to experience it in a more compelling format. No code and low code The startup space is rich with visionary thinkers and ideas. But the truth is that you can't get far with an idea if you don't have access to developer talent, which is scarce and costly in today's job market. We've worked with a couple of companies through the MongoDB for Startups program that are helping entrepreneurs breathe life into their ideas with low- and no-code solutions for building applications and bringing them to market. Low- and no-code platforms enable users with little or no coding background to satisfy their own development needs. For example, Alloy Automation is a no-code integration solution that integrates with and automates ecommerce services, such as CRM, logistics, subscriptions, and databases. Alloy can automate SMS messages, automatically start a workflow after an online transaction, determine if follow-up action should be taken, and automate actions in coordination with connected apps. Another example is Thunkable , a no-code platform that makes it easy to build custom mobile apps without any advanced software engineering knowledge or certifications. Thunkable's mission is to democratize mobile app development. It uses a simple drag-and-drop design and powerful logic blocks to give innovators the tools they need to breathe life into their app designs. The startup journey Although startups themselves are as diverse as the people who launch them, all startup journeys begin with the identification of a need in the marketplace. The MongoDB for Startups program helps startups along the way with free MongoDB Atlas credits, one-on-one technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to a vast partner network. Are you a startup looking to build faster and scale further? Join our community of pioneers by applying to the MongoDB for Startups program. Apply now .
Built With MongoDB: Inspirit Helps Kids Learn Science Through Immersive Technology
Immersive technologies like AR and VR have tremendous potential to transform learning outcomes for students. By representing complicated, often intangible concepts in an interactive, 3D platform and VR system, they encourage engagement and improve memory recall in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Palo Alto-based startup, Inspirit , has developed an immersive, interactive VR platform that combines the best of both 3D and VR instruction to allow students in middle school and high school to experience science and learning through virtual reality instead of reading. Inspirit is also part 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. Birth of a Startup Inspirit Co-founders Amrutha Vasan and Aditya Vishwanath were conducting research at Georgia Tech and trying to understand how to bring virtual reality into education when they had a critical insight. "A lot of students tend to lose sight or just lose interest in science by the time they hit high school," Vasan says. "What we realized very quickly was that you can give teachers the tools that they need in order to do things that are way too expensive or just simply impossible to do in the real world." As students get into higher order physics, calculus, biology, and chemistry, they struggle with visualizing difficult concepts. "What we aim to do is provide interactive 3D models and interactive simulations that actually teach them core science concepts so that they build that curiosity and actually engage with the material in order to keep them in STEM programs and moving forward," Vasan says. Company evolution Inspirit has evolved since its early days. The founders initially focused on VR headsets and 3D goggles that students would share in the classroom. Once the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was clear that students wouldn't be going back to the classroom anytime soon. "We had to very quickly pivot into building a web platform that students could use at home and teachers could use for hybrid and online teaching," Vasan says. "Through the pandemic, we learned very quickly exactly how the education system would actually be changing. And so through that adaptation, we've now built a cross-platform product." Building a cross-platform solution aligns with one of Inspirit's core values, which is to be accessible. Inspirit is now available on the web in addition to virtual reality headsets so students can access the tools on different platforms. Inspirit isn't just an extracurricular activity. One of the biggest differentiators between Inspirit VR classroom and other platforms is that it addresses core content. It's not something that students need to use independently. "You still need a really great teacher," Vasan says. "There is no way for you to show a student a eukaryotic cell other than by drawing it on a whiteboard or giving them a diagram or a video," she says. "You still need a great teacher in order to use our platform. But they can now use this to help their students visualize difficult science concepts." Inspirit helps students who love science immerse themselves in it more while at the same time helping kids who dislike science experience it in a new, more engaging way. Building with MongoDB Inspirit chose MongoDB over other platforms because of its support and flexibility. As a startup, the founders knew their database structure would be changing constantly. "MongoDB allows for a lot of flexibility," Vasan says, "which is really important because we're probably not going to have the perfect database going into a startup. Allowing us to consistently change it as we're scaling and growing has just been very helpful." Regarding MongoDB support, which is one of the benefits of the MongoDB for Startups program, Vasan says the company got the most support from MongoDB than any of the other databases they were looking at. "That's ultimately why we ended up choosing it for our company," she says. "The things that we love the most about MongoDB are Atlas , Charts , and search indexes . Atlas has been really cool for visualizing all the data and for helping us grow and scale quickly as well." "We've had a really good partnership with the MongoDB for Startups program in particular," Vasan says. Inspirit uses AWS, and Vasan cites how easily Atlas integrates with AWS as another key benefit that she appreciates. "AWS integrates very easily with MongoDB. So to be honest, it's been pretty easy scaling our backend." Compliance was another critical requirement. "We actually need to be COPPA compliant," Vasan says, referring to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule. "There are a lot of data regulations for what we're using since we have sensitive student, parent, and teacher data. And so both MongoDB and AWS actually make that a lot easier." If you're interested in learning more about Inspirit's immersive learning tools, visit their website . Are you part of a startup and interested in joining the MongoDB for Startups program? Apply now . For more startup content, check out our previous blog on Qubitro .
MongoDB Joins Auth0 to Help Startups Combat Security Risks
We are excited to announce that MongoDB for Startups is collaborating with Auth0 for Startups to provide top security for applications by the most innovative startups. Why should a startup be part of the MongoDB and Auth0 startup programs? Customers, investors, and stakeholders expect many different things from a company, but one common requirement is responsibly managing their data. Companies choose MongoDB because it accelerates application development and makes it easier for developers to work with data. Developers mindful of security, compliance, and privacy when it comes to data use the robust Auth0 platform to create great customer experiences with features like single sign-on and multi-factor authentication. “Auth0 and MongoDB are very complementary in nature. While MongoDB provides a strong, secure data platform to store sensitive workloads, Auth0 provides secure access for anyone with the proper authorization," says Soumyarka Mondal, Co-founder of Sybill.ai. "We are safely using Auth0 as one of the data stores for the encryption piece, as well as using those keys to encrypt all of our users’ confidential information inside MongoDB.” What is the Auth0 for Startups Program? Auth0, powered by Okta, takes a modern approach to identity and enables startups to provide secure access to any application, for any user. Through Auth0 for Startups, we are bringing the convenience, privacy, and security of Auth0 to early-stage ventures, allowing them to focus on growing their business quickly. The Auth0 for Startups program is free for one year and supports: 100,000 monthly active users Five enterprise connections Passwordless authentication Breached password detection 50+ integrations, 60+ SDKs, and 50+ social & IdP connections What is the MongoDB for Startups Program? MongoDB for Startups is focused on enabling the success of high-growth startups from ideation to IPO. The program is designed to give startups access to the best technical database for their rapidly scaling ventures. Apply to our program and program participants will receive: $500 in credits for all MongoDB cloud products (valid for 12 months) A dedicated technical advisor for a two-hour, one-to-one consultation to help you with your data migration and optimization Co-marketing opportunities Access to the MongoDB developer ecosystem and access to our VC partners. Apply to Auth0 For Startups and the MongoDB for Startups Program today.
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 .
Built With MongoDB: ChargeHub Simplifies the Electric Charging Experience
MongoDB Supports Cutting-Edge Startups with NVIDIA Inception
We are excited to announce that MongoDB for Startups is collaborating with NVIDIA Inception to power cutting-edge startups in AI, autonomous driving, gaming, robotics, healthcare, and more. Here, we answer frequently asked questions to provide a brief overview of the initiative. Why should a startup build its MVP with MongoDB for Startups and NVIDIA Inception? If you are a founder looking to build innovative technologies in AI, data science, gaming, and other breakthrough industries, then you’ll want to leverage MongoDB for Startups (a program that helps startups build faster and scale further with free MongoDB Atlas credits, one-on-one technical advice, co-marketing opportunities, and access to our partner network) and NVIDIA Inception (a free global program designed to nurture cutting-edge startups) for your MVP. Together with MongoDB and NVIDIA Inception, founders can leverage the most intuitive and flexible way to work with data so they can adapt quickly to the changing needs of a growing business. Utilizing MongoDB Atlas , a fully managed multi-cloud developer data platform, startups can scale rapidly while enjoying the freedom to run anywhere with the best cloud environments. NVIDIA Inception members get a custom set of ongoing benefits, such as NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute credits, marketing support, and technology assistance, which provides startups with the fundamental tools to help them grow. What is the MongoDB for Startups program? MongoDB for Startups is focused on creating a valuable technical startup program that enables the success of high-growth startups from ideation to IPO. We designed this program to give startups access to the best technical database for their rapidly scaling ventures. Apply to our program and you will receive: $500 in credits for all MongoDB cloud products (valid for 12 months) A dedicated technical advisor for a two-hour, one-on-one consultation to help you with your data migration and optimization Co-marketing opportunities Access to the MongoDB developer ecosystem and access to our VC partners What is the NVIDIA Inception Program? NVIDIA Inception helps startups in all industries accelerate growth and build their products faster. With more than 10,000 startup members, the program is free and available for tech startups in all stages. Inception members can receive: Up to $100K in AWS cloud credits Technical training and engineering guidance Product discounts Co-marketing and co-selling Customer introductions and VC exposure Apply to NVIDIA Inception and the MongoDB for Startups Program today.
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 .
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 .