Written by Kelly Stincer.
To stay a step ahead of the competition and win the innovation race, companies need to see where their industry is headed. This includes staying informed on future trends, products and competitors’ next moves by tapping into research, blogs, social media and articles. SuperH Index in Columbus, Ohio, uses advanced algorithms to make connections between different databases, identifying what industry leaders are talking about to predict the next big thing.
“We’ve found that what is most important to a company is oftentimes disruptive technology or ideas,” said Stephanie Hughes, co-founder and CEO of SuperH Index. “Take a company like Uber, for example. They are moving beyond an on-demand ride service to the delivery industry. You can see how they could partner or compete with companies like Amazon to get products into people’s homes. That is a trend that SuperH Index can help a company capitalize on before it hits the market.”
A lot of valuable information exists in the public domain, but it can be difficult to uncover if someone doesn’t know specifically what they’re looking for or where to find it. That’s especially true for small companies that don’t have dedicated computer servers and human resources to search databases. The SuperH Index platform sifts through millions of documents from a wide variety of sources, including patent applications, grant proposals, research publications, corporate presentations and social media. Hughes says the many sources allow SuperH Index to report information that is reliable and highly valuable. It can be used to solve business problems, point a development team in the right direction or give insight into the latest ideas in an industry.
“Not even one percent of publicly available data has been analyzed, and more and more data is being created every day,” said Hughes. “It would be impossible for companies to manually download and read the millions of documents needed to find all the pertinent information.”
Before starting SuperH Index, Hughes spent 16 years running a competitive intelligence business that researched issues and trends for a variety of companies. The reports she provided her clients were often one dimensional because there was no way to access and analyze the massive amounts of data required to go more in-depth. She partnered with her brother and company co-founder Richard Hughes, a professor of physics at The Ohio State University, to build the SuperH Index platform. The technology accesses more points of data, producing new answers and solutions.
The founders participated in Rev1 Venture’s Concept Academy, a central Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier, where mentors helped them refine the company concept, develop a marketing plan and present their company to customers and investors. Upon completing the Concept Academy, Rev1 became SuperH Index’s first investor.
SuperH Index’s clients include companies in aerospace, pharmaceutical and biomedical research along with organizations in the defense space, where staying on top of cutting-edge developments is key to being relevant and innovative. Hughes says Ohio is a hotspot for tech startups and she is happy to see the country recognizing the region’s successes. She says the tech talent coming from area universities and local resources like Rev1 are fostering startup growth, which is attracting investors to the area.
“People used to think they had to go to the coasts to find innovation, but that’s simply not the case,” said Hughes. “We have seen a lot of interest in Ohio-grown companies, and we plan to build a global business here.”