The fund, called Big Data Elite, is backed by celebrity investors like Ron Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent angel investors, and Andreessen Horowitz, the $2.5 billion venture capitalist firm, as well as Social+Capital Partnership and Anand Rajaraman, whose social media start-up was bought by Wal-Mart Stores in 2011.
In an announcement on Thursday, Big Data Elite described itself as a venture lab and early stage fund that will offer a six-month program beginning January 2014. The fund will choose 10 start-ups or individuals from a list of 20. Those chosen will work a Big Data Elite’s offices in San Francisco and will have access to advisers who work at Facebook, Zynga, Netflix, LinkedIn, Riot Games and a handful of other companies that rely heavily on data analysis.
Companies like Netflix, Google and Amazon rely heavily on the data its customers provide through their Internet searches, and over recent years they have poured large sums of money into data teams of computer scientists who sift through search and transaction data to find patterns.
“Big Data is behind every sector,” Mr. Venios said. “By 2016, the budget spend for Big Data will be larger in corporate business development than information technology,” Mr. Venios added, citing data from McKinsey & Company.
The fund will invest $150,000 to $1 million in each participant, in exchange for equity — typically 6 percent initially — and convertible notes.