Spotlight on Sciencescape, a tool for discovering and organizing research you care about

by Bianca Bartz 2 years ago

Sciencescape is a platform that connects scientists to breaking research around the world, and throughout history. The HIGHLINE portfolio company is a big data startup dedicated to accelerating scientific research by connecting researchers with the papers they care about, so they can make remarkable discoveries. Sciencescape is powered by the world’s largest scientific knowledge graph, in addition to advances in machine learning, network science and predictive modeling. Our mission is to organize and deliver all of the world’s research, using a social platform for peer-reviewed articles in scholarly and technical domains.

Sciencescape has users at over 1,000 research institutes globally, and partnerships across the STM Publishing Industry enabling full-text mining of tens of millions of scientific articles. For more information on Sciencescape — which was recently voted one of the Top 10 Innovations of 2014 by The Scientist Magazine — watch this short video or read about them on Wired and TechCrunch.

Sciencescape website

About Sciencescape Co-Founder & CEO Sam Molyneux

Sam co-founded Sciencescape in 2010 after being inspired by the challenges he faced as a PhD student in cancer genomics at the University of Toronto. Today Sciencescape’s team of engineers and data scientists have built a scientific knowledge graph and platform that maps and streams the universe of biomedical research in real-time. Sam’s research in cancer genomics has been published in Nature Genetics, Nature Cell Biology, PNAS and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Q&A With Sam Molyneux

How did HIGHLINE affect your startup journey?

HIGHLINE (then Extreme Startups) was our entry into the Toronto startup ecosystem, from which we quickly branched to build our network in key US communities including NYC, Boston and the Valley. Your ability to execute your startup’s mission likely rests at several levels on the buy-in of the community, from talent to capital.

What was the moment you knew Sciencescape had legs, or felt validated?

When we saw how much time on-boarded scientists were spending each month on the platform. Also, the large-scale participation we have had from scientific publishers over the past 18 months.

What advice can you give other entrepreneurs?

Spend more time choosing the problem you go after. No matter what you choose, it will be hard. Pick something big, that you and others would be passionate about solving for many years.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Startups only fail when founders give up. My co-founder and I are incredibly determined.

Was there ever a moment in your entrepreneurial journey when you felt you’d failed?

Doing a startup is an exploratory process. We have been wrong about many things and are course-correcting constantly, but failure has never been an option. At some level, we have never really taken the concept of failure seriously, just focused on solving the problems in front of us.