Harvard MBAs Identify the Hottest Startups
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat — just get on.”
What a quip! And it came from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who delivered it at the Harvard Business School two years ago. Turns out, it was more than a witty one-liner. It was actually the inspiration for a company founded by six HBS students.
Formed as part of Professor Clayton Rose’s FIELD course, SpotRocket is an online database that helps students pinpoint the highest potential startups. Here’s how it works according to Bostinno:
“SpotRocket’s proprietary algorithm combines quantitative and qualitative metrics, such as funding history, Web traffic and social media influence, into what the founders call a “FuelScore.” The FuelScore represents a startup’s potential, and helps students easily identify the “rocketship companies” in the process of taking off.
To create the algorithm, the team turned to the publicly available data found on sites like CrunchBase and AngelList. They first focused on 100 private companies they knew well and started distributing different weights to the various metrics that comprise the FuelScore until they settled on an equation they felt properly embodied the landscape.”
Much like Sandberg’s proverbial rocket ship, SpotRocket has generated some serious heat. The website now ranks over 10,000 startups and has attracted the attention of angel investors and even a VC firm according to co-founder Payal Divakaran. By providing contact information and job postings for these startups, SpotRocket is gaining a foothold at schools ranging from MIT Sloan to Northwestern Kellogg.
Of course, the site has only been up for two weeks. It is still building out its functionality – and the founders have yet to monetize it. That said, it definitely fills a need for students. “It shows that students are interested in entrepreneurship,” Divakaran tells Bostinno. “If they’re discovering new startups, then that’s a home run for us.”