“…Now what’s cooler than bein’ cool? (Ice cold!)…” – André “André 3000” Benjamin from OutKast
André 3000″ is the 9th most influential rapper of all time according to Rateyourmusic.com. He’s in an elite class with such influential heavy weights as 2Pac, IceCube and Jay Z. What I like most about him is his ability to bring a new voice and collaborative approach to fusing technology with music (mixing in dub, trip-hop, psychedelic rock, gospel) in his own experimental sound lab. In his early years, he wasn’t well understood. Several record labels passed him over, because he was “too different.” Plus the “Southern” hip hop scene was new and didn’t have any credibility……but, then some curious people started listening, the fan base grew, and his debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik ultimately went Platinum. Today, he continues producing with his own unique style, which other new groups have emulated. Some people think he’s not even of this earth. (See Obscure reference: out-of-place extraterrestrials in ATLiens). He’s an artist that has helped usher in a new age in music.
This year’s Cool Vendors remind me a bit of André 3000’s early years. The vendors are new and a bit different. They are all providing “first time” user experiences and are actively fusing new technology with R&D and laboratory business processes. We see strong elements of IoT and AI solving the complexities in scientific R&D. They all do this while helping usher in this new digital era for R&D.
Here’s the quick summary for this year’s super-cool Cool Vendors class:
- Benchling: for their approach to simplifying the support model for investigating complex biologics workflows and their CRISPR “genome editing” capabilities.
- Bioz: for developing a search engine for life science experimentation and improving abilities to design their research using the collective wisdom of the scientific crowd.
- Dexstr: for creating a scientific knowledge management system with automatic metadata generation to help solve the complexities within lab informatics environments.
- Riffyn: for creating a cloud-based process design and integrative data analytics solution that will help personnel better understand their lab processes.
- TetraScience: for enabling “digital lab” capabilities via creation of a cloud-based IoT and analytics platform and companion hardware for the scientific instrument laboratory.
My short summaries do not do these vendors justice. For in-depth analysis on “why cool,” their challenges, and our opinions on who should care, read the note: Cool Vendors in R&D for Manufacturers, 2017.
I hope André 3000 would approve.