Friday, February 1, 2008

Joining a Bay Area startup

This is the inaugural post of my blog about moving my family to the Bay Area, joining a company called iMiners, and the lessons learned working at a startup. In August, 2007 I moved my family from Massachusetts to the East Bay, CA town of Danville. We moved 3,000 miles to get away from the snow, ice, and cold of New England winters, and for the challenge and opportunity for me to work at an early stage company in the most dynamic, exciting place in the world for entrepreneurship. I joined iMiners, Inc. ( as VP of Sales and Marketing at the end of August, and when I joined we had two paying clients, Nvidia and Sigma Designs. Now we have four clients, but in the last week announced a new joint marketing agreement, launched a new product line (iMiners Data Feeds), and are planning to launch another major new product in March. This blog will focus on the ups and downs, and lessons learned of working for a Bay Area early stage startup. What does iMiners do, you might ask? Here's an introduction to the business problem(s) we have identified, and how we plan to make an impact:

How many times have you gone to a financial website like Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, or any brokerage site, to do research on a company and come away frustrated at the time it took to find relevant information? For example, go to any popular financial portal and type in a company ticker and attempt to review the company’s most recent news releases relating to management changes, M&A, legal issues, product announcements, and/or customer partnerships. What you will most often find is simply a chronological listing of the company’s news releases, interspaced with blogs, magazine articles, and other non-company issued information. The problem gets worse if the news you are looking for was released 6 months ago! iMiners, Inc. ( a technology startup based in Livermore, CA, is changing the rules in search for how investors access relevant information, quickly.

iMiners was founded in June 2005 by Jnyaneshwar Prabhu & Sandesh Prabhu, specifically to help investors find relevant information quickly when researching a company. iMiners has categorized every press release issued since April 1, 2006, by every US public company trading on the NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX, into one of ten major categories (Awards & Recognition, Conference Call & Meetings, Corporate, Customer & Partnerships, Financial, Legal, Management Changes, M&A, Industry Events, and Products & Services) and 69 subcategories. iMiners’ proprietary database currently contains over 325,000 fully categorized releases issued by over 6,500 public companies and is growing by about 1,000 releases each day. iMiners provides a set of easy to use, visual tools including news by type, interactive charting, and a targeted search engine, in an attempt to provide deeper context and insight into how news may impact stock price. Investors can find relevant information they are looking for quickly within seconds vs. scrolling through volumes of data.

In early 2007, iMiners launched a free portal at, and made available all its tools, and access to its proprietary database. Today, any visitor can type in a stock symbol and research a company either through news by category, its stock chart, custom search, and even set email alerts when that company announces news in a certain category of interest. Then in mid-2007, iMiners began providing hosted interactive press rooms, productized as "PR Interactive", on a subscription basis to public companies that want to improve the user friendliness and productivity of their stakeholders. Today, cutting-edge companies such as Nvidia and Silicon Image have deployed iMiners services on their IR sites. Most recently, on January 30, 2008 iMiners and Comtex, a leading provider of economically useful electronic real-time news, announced a joint marketing agreement to provide categorized news via XML data feeds to all of Comtex’s clients. The service, called iMiners Data Feeds, is available to Comtex clients, or any site that wants to drive more traffic, keep visitors longer, and keep them coming back because of a positive user experience. iMiners Data Feeds can be fully customized based on the specific needs of a portal including full market, industry specific, or company specific. Data Feeds are a natural step towards standardizing the categorization of releases for investors. For more information, or to subscribe to a data feed visit:

Later in 2008, iMiners will launch products that will continue to leverage its growing proprietary database of categorized releases. These plans include launching a comprehensive institutional investor portal that will provide access to unique tools, and proprietary algorithms for event impact, correlation, and prediction. Information is power, especially on Wall Street, and iMiners will continue to revolutionize the search process for relevant actionable information akin to finding the proverbial "needle in the haystack." We look forward to having you along with us for the ride!

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