Six Tips: How to Run an Effective Engineering Organization

In 2013, Matt Kaufman joined Aol with the mission to elevate the well-loved, highly respected (but antiquated) CrunchBase 1.0 into the modern web world. Starting with a very small team that had kept CrunchBase on life support, he added engineers, product managers, designers, and content experts — and nine months later, CrunchBase 2.0 was born.

CrunchBase 2.0 was slicker, more functional, and definitely more modern. Searching was fast yet fuzzy. Investment leaderboards popped up. Users could edit and get credit. And underneath it all was The Business Graph — not just a database, but a web of interconnected history.  Graph Insights revealed all sorts of hidden connections — who’s backing whom in Silicon Valley (and beyond). Want to follow the money? Find the innovators? Ask CrunchBase 2.0.

Today, CrunchBase has become personalized — you can follow people and company profiles. My CrunchBase is your live dashboard to help you track the CrunchBase profiles you follow, all-day long.

I was brought in to partner with Vineet Thanedar to lead the engineering team in executing Matt’s vision. Building a whole new system to serve millions of happy monthly users meant we had to learn a few things along the way.

This feature shares both technical and managerial lessons learned — so that you may benefit!

Continue reading

CrunchBase Launches News, Timeline, & Alerts!

We shared some exciting news with you last week about the future of CrunchBase. Today, we are proud to announce another milestone — the launch of a brand new CrunchBase, customized for you!

We listened to your feedback and have built a great new feature set to enhance your experience on CrunchBase. What’s new?


Our growing community of contributors have helped us make CrunchBase what it is today — the leading platform to discover innovative companies and people behind them.
We value your input, and would love to hear what other features you’d like to see. Send us an email at and tell us what you think.

Experience the New CrunchBase!

CrunchBase Spins Out of Aol — Emergence Capital Leads Series A Investment

We have some exciting news to share. Today, CrunchBase is entering its next phase of growth and spinning out of AOL to become a standalone company.  As you may have seen in the press, CrunchBase will now become a venture-backed company, like the many companies it profiles on its site.  Emergence Capital, one of the top cloud venture capital firms, is leading an investment round in CrunchBase to help fund its expansion.

We started in 2007 as a homegrown project with humble beginnings in indexing startups featured in TechCrunch articles. With the help of TechCrunch and AOL, we amassed an audience that took a life of its own. Eight years later, we find ourselves today at the center of the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem, serving the twenty million people a year that depend on us.

CrunchBase is what it is today because of its community. As Yelp has done for helping you choose where to eat, and Wikipedia has done for helping you research anything, we have come together as a community of contributors to change the way information about companies is gathered, shared, and understood. None of this would have been possible without people like you who are giving back to this community every day.

This type of community is extremely hard to build, and we know this is something special. That’s why we’re committed to preserving the openness and accessibility of the CrunchBase that you know and love.

Looking ahead, we can’t wait to share with you the exciting things we’re building, and we would love to get your input about what you would like to see.

Personally, I am so proud and privileged to join this effort. In my eleven years of building product at Salesforce, I witnessed the rise of a company that fundamentally changed the way people thought about accessing software.  Today, I’m excited to join an organization that is reinventing the way people find and leverage company data, and I’m thrilled to be working with Matt Kaufman and the outstanding team at CrunchBase.

In closing, thank you for being part of our community and helping to build CrunchBase to where it is today. I’m incredibly excited that you’re with us on this next step in our journey.

— Jager McConnell, CEO, CrunchBase

Infographic: Female Founders On An Upward Trend

Earlier this year, CrunchBase began a comprehensive study of Female Startup Founders by expanding our dataset to include gender for the periods of 2009-2014. To date, we have published two reports — the first found that the percentage of female founders among funded startups nearly doubled in 2014, while the second feature focused on educational backgrounds.

Given the broad interest from the community, we’ve created an easy to share infographic that clearly and effectively presents the data through visualization.

At CrunchBase, we recognize the importance of diversity and bringing transparency to the startup ecosystem. If you’d like to contribute to our upcoming study, Female Partners in Venture, please reach out to @geneteare. Stay tuned!

CrunchBase Study 2015


Thank You CrunchBase Community


Last week we reached a Twitter milestone — 100,000 followers!

We want to take this opportunity to thank our growing community whose ongoing contributions and feedback have made CrunchBase the leading source of information about startups. Today the CrunchBase Daily has 275,000 subscribers and more than 2 million people visit the CrunchBase website each month.

With your help we’ve been able to update and expand the CrunchBase Dataset faster than ever.  Tens of thousands of profiles are updated each week.  Our mission is to accelerate innovation by bringing together data on companies and the people behind them. We couldn’t do it without your support, so thank you!

-The CrunchBase Team

Startup Calendar for August 25th

Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!

Methodology for Assigning Gender to Profiles

To cast a better light on diversity in the startup community, CrunchBase published two reports on gender this summer.  The first focused on growth of female founded startups since 2009 followed up with our report on top universities graduating the most female founders.  Both analysis were powered by the CrunchBase Dataset.

Determining gender for hundreds of thousands of profiles was no small undertaking. Some of our users, including Nicole Yeary (@nicoleyeary), have asked what went into the analysis. Here’s an overview of our methodology:

Step 1: Auto-assign gender based on first name.  We started by automatically assigning gender using a database of 92,000 first names that are predominantly associated with a specific gender.  This database allowed us to set gender for about 94% of the people profiles on CrunchBase.

Step 2: Hand review gender for subset of our dataset.  Because our published research focused on investors and founders of funded startups, we chose to further review those profiles manually.  Our team looked at profiles images and gender descriptive pronouns (e.g. him, her, she, he, Mr, Mrs, and Miss) appearing in bio’s for about 54,000 profiles.  When we identified mis-assignments, we adjusted our name database accordingly.

Step 3: Review inconsistencies between gender descriptive profiles and the gender assigned to profiles.  Next we searched for profiles where the assigned gender conflicted with gender specific pronouns appearing in the CrunchBase profile.  We manually reviewed these profiles and again updated the name database accordingly.

Was the analysis error free?  No.  When executing data projects at this scale errors are bound to occur in both the automated and human driven processes.  In this case, we now observe an error rate of 0.6% (+/- 0.3%) in assigning gender.

The CrunchBase Dataset is constantly expanding through contributions from our community of users, investment firms, and network of global partners. As for gender data, since publishing our first report in May 2015, CrunchBase users have been filling in the gaps and, in a handful of situations, pointing out errors that we’ve been quick to fix.   Anyone can edit profiles on CrunchBase. If you see information that is inaccurate, please correct the error or send us an email.

Startup Calendar for August 18

Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!

Startup Calendar for August 11th

Featured events this week:

Other events:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

As well as ten accelerator programs:

Read the weekly newsletter for more.

To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!

CrunchBase in D.C. to Support Diversity at White House Demo Day

This week, I visited Washington D.C. with Matt Kaufman, President of CrunchBase and Gené Teare, Head of Content, to support diversity in the entrepreneurial community.

At CrunchBase, we recognize the importance of diversity in the startup ecosystem.  In March, we began a comprehensive study of women startup founders by expanding our dataset to include gender for the periods of 2009-2014.  Our first two reports on female founders led to a collaboration between CrunchBase and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) spearheaded by Kate Mitchell, Partner & Co-founder at Scale Venture Partners who recently published Diversity in Venture Capital – A National Conversation.

In Washington D.C., we met with the NVCA to discuss initiatives that foster greater opportunity for women and underrepresented minorities in the startup ecosystem. In collaboration with NVCA and Dow Jones, the 2015 Venture Census survey is the first step in our partnership to help measure diversity.

At the White House with Kate Mitchell, Scale Venture Partners and Jessica Straus, NVCA

Kate Mitchell, ScaleVP & Jessica Straus, NVCA

We also had the honor of attending the first-ever White House Demo Day, hosted by President Barack Obama.  There were over 40 entrepreneurs invited from across the U.S. to hold exhibits at the White House, where they joined President Obama to pitch their ideas — including an exhibit from TechCrunch Disrupt finalist PartPic.

President Barack Obama at White House Demo Day 2015

President Obama at White House Demo Day 2015

The White House State Floor was transformed into an exhibition space where entrepreneurs demonstrated their products to guests and members of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Attendees included Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, leaders in business, philanthropy and nonprofit sector — including:

President Obama’s speech focused on the importance of entrepreneurship in the U.S., referencing women and underrepresented minorities.

“Right now, one study shows that fewer than 3 percent of venture capital-backed companies have a woman as their CEO…and fewer than 1 percent have an African American founder. Yet we’ve seen again and again that companies with diverse leadership often outperform those that don’t.”

A growing number of companies like Pinterest and Intel have recognized this and are taking a larger initiative, including over 40 leading venture capital firms who have pledged to do more to track and hire women, underrepresented minorities and veterans, Obama cited.

We’ve got to make sure that everybody is getting a fair shot — the next Steve Jobs might be named Stephanie or Esteban,” he said.

Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer at White House Demo Day

Megan Smith, U.S. CTO at the White House

The event was not limited to just those attending the White House — entrepreneurs, universities, and more were encouraged to host their own Demo Day events and tune-in to a live stream.