How do you talk about something new? Matt Hixson and Nitin Mayande have been trying to answer that question while building their social networking analytics software company Tellagence. Existing technology maps the outline of a social network, but Tellagence predicts how information flows across that network. The challenge is in describing their technology in a way that their audience understands.
“We had to create a new language,” Matt says, in order to bridge the gap between using social media and understanding it. Tellagence is working toward a public launch in the fall by streamlining its product and message. Last year, it took six days to process a 1,500 person network. Through optimizing its computations, it can process a 10,000 person network in less than five minutes. In a similar way, Matt and Nitin have simplified their message.
Matt and Nitin began their conversation about social media in 2009. Matt was building a JIVE social network and Nitin was working toward a Ph.D. in social analytics at Portland State University. Matt saw a way to materialize Nitin’s Ph.D. research in way to solve business problems, so in 2011 they joined forces by forming Tellagence and moved into the PSU Business Accelerator. They appreciate the camaraderie that permeates the entrepreneurial community at the Accelerator and have enjoyed the flexibility that the space provides. “Ideas are contagious,” Matt says about sharing ideas between companies in different stages of their life cycles.
Not satisfied with a compartmentalized work environment, the Accelerator transformed Tellagence’s cube-land office space into the definition of an agile software environment. That openness translates into their team style, with a focus on hiring the best and giving them the freedom to work. Clients have already recognized their value and are lined up to take advantage of what Tellagence has to offer.