LENS Engineering, Science, and Technology

Condensing the Conversation

Helping Market Researchers Make Sense of a Slew of Voices

A startup co-founded by a Case Western Reserve University graduate student has attracted more than $3.8 million in investments and aims to revolutionize market research by making it faster, easier and more insightful.

The company, Remesh, has created software to allow market researchers to engage in real-time online conversations with potentially thousands of people—and help resolve what can be a bedeviling problem: How to evaluate and draw conclusions from answers survey participants write, typically in response to open-ended questions.

That’s a far more difficult process than tallying answers to multiple-choice questions. But the Remesh software enables researchers to determine within minutes which responses are most popular or representative of the survey group by using a simple voting process. And they can do that regardless of the size of the group.

“It’s a remarkably transformative technology. It’s a solution to a problem that no one has come up with before,” said Charles Stack, CEO of Flashstarts, a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator from which Remesh graduated. Flashstarts and Stack, as an individual, have invested in Remesh.

The company’s funding includes more than $2.2 million that venture capitalists invested in the company in April.

Two students started the company in 2014: Aaron Slodov, who was pursuing a PhD in power systems engineering at the university (he is currently on leave), and Andrew Konya, a graduate student at Kent State University. It has eight employees and offices in Cleveland and New York City. It also has customers and is earning revenue, a crucial stage for any startup.

Case Western Reserve resources “were a huge boom to our development,” said Slodov, who relied on CWRU LaunchNET (an entrepreneurship program) and the IP Venture Clinic at the School of Law for mentoring, networking, business development, student interns and more.

Slodov, who originally imagined the company would provide a social media app to allow groups of people to “mesh,” said he hopes to someday use the technology for additional purposes, such as improving communications between nations or opposing groups.

—Jim Sweeney