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An Algorithm to Pick Startup Winners - Technology Review

Stashed in: Venture Capital!, Silicon Valley!, Moneyball, VC, Wafflebot!, MIT TR

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Does Moneyball work for startups?

I believe in Correlation Ventures, but Pando Daily is skeptical.

Joyce affectionately refers to Correlation Ventures as Wafflebot and walks around our office saying, "I love you, Wafflebot!"


Seriously, this is new, smart, and unique:

To run its model, Correlation Ventures, which is based in San Diego and Palo Alto, California, asks startups to submit five basic planning, financial, and legal documents. It enters these into a program similar in function to credit rating software.

A top-ranked score leads to a 30-minute interview with both the startup CEO and the outside venture firm leading the investment, plus a quick legal review and background check. As a co-investor, Correlation Ventures always relies on some vetting by the primary investor.

And yes, it's Moneyballesque:

To explain his project, Coats cites Moneyball, the book and movie about how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane rejected the conventional wisdom on evaluating baseball players and built a winning franchise by letting a computer tease out variables that others overlooked. He believes the averages will work out. "We're not claiming to have a magic crystal ball," he says. "We're tilting the odds a little in our favor with each investment."

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