Algorithms identify and track the most important privately-held technology companies

April 14, 2011 | Source: Technology Review
Quid Map

Web of knowledge showing links between ideas in tweets, patents, and other documents (credit: Quid)

A startup called Quid has developed algorithms that analyze Internet-based data from corporations to make fast-moving technology developments visible, navigable, and understandable.

Quid has built a data set combining information about firms that succeeded and sank, patent documents, government grants, help wanted advertisements, and tweets. Its algorithms use the collection of information to analyze the prospects of around 35,000 firms and research groups working on new technologies.

By extracting words and phrases from the collected documents, Quid constructs a “technology genome” that describes the primary focus of each of those 35,000 entities. A map of the connections between those genomes can be used by investors to find hints about interesting companies or ideas.

Most companies cluster around established sectors, but a few will sit in the white spaces between the clusters and can represent the seeds of new technology sectors.