In addition to opening office space and hiring locally, DataRobot and West Virginia University are beginning to work together on the formation of a national center, based in West Virginia, that will provide technologically focused solutions on critical pandemic and emergency response and preparedness and rural health, among other issues.
“We’re hiring across the board for all of our roles across the company, from engineering to customer success, really all across the company,” DataRobot CEO Dan Wright said. “We actually made our first hire yesterday and many more to come. And we’re also talking about problems that we can solve together and really have West Virginia be an innovation hub for the rest of the world. Everything from modernization of state government to pandemic preparedness and even changing health outcomes in rural communities as well.”
Currently, the chief executive said, they are sharing office space with Vantage Ventures, but the plan is to get a larger office space soon. They are in the process of finding such a space right now.
In addition to that space, DataRobot will also have a significant presence on the WVU campus, he said.
“One thing that we’ve been talking about with President Gee and others is teaching DataRobot in the classroom so that people come out of the classroom and they’re ready to solve these problems using data and using this technology,” Wright said. “And so we will, definitely, be a presence on campus, but will also be a presence in the broader Morgantown community.”
The goal, Wright said, is to help to solve problems with massive datasets.
Datasets are a collection of related sets of information that is composed of separate elements but can be manipulated as a unit by a computer.
DataRobot can help whoever is in need of its services brainstorm ideas and find which ones to focus on. When the data that they need is identified, the company then uses its “augmented intelligence platform” to automate a lot of the processes that data scientists, previously, had to sort through manually.
The AI can solve very difficult problems, Wright said, and help researchers make better decisions.
He said WVU is a good partner to bring about these changes because it has a large talent pool of students. For this, DataRobot’s CEO said he was appreciative of the university for its willingness to partner up in this endeavor.
“I’m incredibly grateful and incredibly excited about the partnership with WVU and also just how welcoming everybody has been,” Wright said. “You know, sometimes you go down a road and then you hit a roadblock, right? Somebody says no, or they’re not really excited about it. Every person that we’ve talked to from President Gee; to JB McCuskey; to Sarah Biller, John (Chambers), the governor, everyone has been so supportive and wanting to do a significant partnership with DataRobot. And so, we really felt like it was the perfect time to do it, and so, that’s why we decided to go big.”
Wright also thanked West Virginia’s U.S. Senators Capito and Manchin, as well as Congressman McKinley for also being very welcoming and open to new ideas.
“You can tell that people want to make a difference here and I liked what was said earlier that West Virginia can compete with anyone,” Wright said. “I’ve definitely seen that just with the willingness to you know, dive in and build the partnership together.”
For more about this announcement, checkout WVU’s press release about the partnership.