On Wednesday, Chattanooga transplant startup Banyan was selected to pitch on stage as part of the Southland Summit in Nashville. You may remember Banyan; they won the entrepreneur track at the GigTank demo day last summer and took home $100,000 dollars. Although it wasn’t a condition of receiving their prize, the Banyan team–Toni Gamayel, Travis Staton, and TJ Weigel–decided to relocate their startup from Florida to Chattanooga late last year.
Banyan billed itself as a collaborative research tool that could handle enormous amounts of data. They were the only GigTank participant that really talked about the effects of 1gb ethernet and big data during last year’s Demo Day. To make his point, the company’s pitch man, Gamayel, point it this way: To take two terrabytes of data from Stanford to London, it would be faster to get on a plane with two hard drives than it would be with conventional Internet speeds. In contrast, Chattanooga’s 1gb ethernet pipe would allow that data to transmit in just four hours.
During the Southland pitch Gamayel revealed that scientific research hasn’t fundamentally changed since the 1700’s. Even in present day scientists have a really hard time collaborating because they need to keep control of their authorship. Gamayel also said that universities are very protective of their researchers as well. Gamayel pointed to a case where Stanford University lost $50 million dollars when they couldn’t clearly state whether or not a professor worked on a certain piece of research under his university role or independently.
The newest iteration of Banyan solves all of these problems. For starters they’ve added profiles for scientists and researchers on the system. Scientists can clearly list their accolades and achievements, skills, and research they’ve authored. There is also the base tool for collaboration as well as a way to leave comments and feedback. Finally Banyan has incorporated a system that can time and date stamp each iteration of the research and correctly credit the author. So in that case at Stanford, it would be clear whose “time” the professor was on.
Although we thought Gamayel did a fine job pitching their exciting product, he was a little hard on himself, stating after the pitch that it was the first time that he’s talked about the new features to a large audience, with some of their investors in the crowd.
Banyan is a fascinating product and is sure to continue changing the way researchers and scientists work. Check out Gamayel’s Southland pitch below.
Here’s more of our Southland Coverage at nibletz.com