August 2015

The brain gain - combining brains and business

“Brains and business” is a phrase that sums up the underlying philosophy of GeoSpock™

Born out of an academic research project at the University of Cambridge – the aim of which was to build a new supercomputer architecture capable of simulating the human brain – GeoSpock was founded on the core principle of throwing big brainpower at big problems.

The inception of the technology was inspired by the work GeoSpock’s founder, Dr Steve Marsh, carried out during his PhD research at the Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He teamed up with Horizon Discovery’s CEO Dr Darrin Disley, a serial entrepreneur and alumni of Cambridge. Together they sought to commercialise GeoSpock’s brain-inspired, real-time database.

Although it seems that a supercomputer designed for neural processing is a different beast than a database, they share a fundamental problem: how can you keep real-time performance with behavioural flexibility as the systems scale? Answering this question is hard, but GeoSpock believes that by studying the most efficient computer known to man they have come up with a solution. To implement this solution, GeoSpock has assembled a small but growing team (currently eight people), half of whom have PhDs, with most of the team having strong ties to Cambridge University.

Steve Marsh at 10 Downing Street
Dr Marsh at 10 Downing Street

The company has been making some serious waves recently having been inducted into the Business Weekly’s Kiler50 back in December last year. This was followed shortly by graduating from Europe’s top tech accelerator programme, Techstars, in February. They have twice been invited along to Number 10 Downing Street (photo right) to talk to the Prime Minister’s business advisors and to promote the new wave of technology companies in Cambridge. This also lead them to win the coveted Cambridge Graduate Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Cambridge Judge Business School, at the Business Weekly Awards back in March.

While still early in the process of finding their feet in the geospatial marketplace GeoSpock has brokered some key partnerships, such as being approached to become resident innovators at the Geovation Hub in London – helping to assist geospatial entrepreneurs and startups to build innovative products. More recently GeoSpock has joined software giant ESRI’s startup programme and is seeking to work with that company to improve real-time handling to vast amounts of changing location data.

Going back to their academic roots, GeoSpock is establishing partnerships with select Universities and research labs to allow their advanced geospatial technology to be used for research into a wide range of fields. The ability to store and rapidly search vast quantities of location tagged data is becoming increasingly more important, and academics are starting to use the technology to help solve significant problems such as optimising logistics, public transport and emergency services, as well as helping to understand complex socio-economic trends.

GeoSpock’s CEO, Steve Marsh, said: “I believe that geospatial analysis is the key to understanding complex real-world problems. Data is inherently valuable, but it is more valuable still when it has rich contextual information, such as a location component, that can produce even greater insights.”

“We believe the GeoSpock platform provides an essential first step towards answering a range of complex questions. In real-time we can filter the noise out of vast, largely unrelated datasets and condense it into a concise, pre-qualified subset. By taking this approach, we can close the feedback loop between question and answer, allowing researchers to iterate and test hypotheses quickly and accurately.”

Currently in the process of raising their Series A round, GeoSpock plans on solving these problems posed by the ever-increasing growth in data by both bringing on board more brainpower and also working closely with partners in this space.

More info about big data analysis at extreme scale

GeoSpock provides sub-second big data analysis tools to companies that are ingesting billions or even trillions of data points per day. We deliver improvements to business planning and insight driven optimisations with our real-time visualisation and analysis tools. A step-change in the technology used to index and retrieve information drives value from extreme data sets where existing technology hits barriers. The tools can be stand-alone or plug into your existing dashboard whilst offering the prospect of reducing data storage charges by a third.

World leading Cambridge technology is at the heart of our infin8 indexing engine. Our entirely new approach to storing and retrieving data increases customers’ data analysis capabilities 1000- fold over existing technologies.

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