Startups

50 results

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 .

January 18, 2023

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 .

January 16, 2023

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 .

November 30, 2022

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.

November 23, 2022

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

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.

October 21, 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

MongoDB for Startups Is Now an Exclusive Offer in AWS Activate

Starting a new business isn’t easy. MongoDB and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have worked together for more than a decade to create developer tools that simplify the process of building software, while helping startups get going with minimal resources. MongoDB Atlas launched on AWS in 2016 and is now available in more than 20 regions across the world. By providing an integrated set of database and data services and a unified developer experience, MongoDB Atlas on AWS lets companies at all stages build applications that are highly available, performant at global scale, and compliant with the most demanding security and privacy standards. Now we’re taking our startup commitment to the next level by offering MongoDB for Startups as an exclusive offer in AWS’s Activate startup program. MongoDB for Startups MongoDB for Startups helps early-stage companies get started with MongoDB by providing access to MongoDB’s cloud developer data platform, including credits and support on MongoDB Atlas , Atlas Search , MongoDB Realm , and more. Additionally, MongoDB provides dedicated technical advice, shared marketing opportunities, and partnership opportunities to help startups grow their customer base. AWS Activate and exclusive offers AWS Activate also provides startups with a host of benefits, including AWS credits to purchase services, AWS support plan credits to use toward technical help from an expert, and architecture guidance to help grow your business. These Activate benefits offer the right mix of tools, resources, and expert support to help you succeed with AWS, while also optimizing performance, managing risk, and keeping your costs under control. Additionally, within the AWS Activate Console , startups will see member-only exclusive offers and find direct access to MongoDB for Startups. Next steps Learn more about the MongoDB for Startups program, and, if you’re already an AWS Activate startup participant, be sure to check out exclusive offers in the Activate Console for the specific benefits of this partnership. You can try MongoDB Atlas (Pay as You Go) on AWS Marketplace while we review your startup application. To ask us questions in real time, register for our joint webinar covering best startup practices with MongoDB and AWS.

July 19, 2022