Jonathan Cornelissen: The Emergence of DataCamp

Starting a company and ensuring that it breaks even brings a bundle of joy to any entrepreneur. Though challenging at first, the pioneers make a great achievement that may stay for years in their lives, especially if it is the first attempt. After completing his Ph.D. in 2012, Jonathan Cornelissen thought of starting a platform where people could learn more about R and statistical programming. Cornelissen co founded DataCamp; the idea came up when, at one time, he tried to search for an interactive platform where his students could learn the two things above. He could not find one, but instead, he found many platforms that offered coding skills that were not applicable for statistics. 

On the same breath, he decided to start a project whose aim was to build a platform that students or people could use to learn R and statistical programming. They identified the project as RCademy. Since Jonathan Cornelissen struggled so much to learn and understand R, he wanted to ensure that the learners get more from data. Looking at the name given to the project -Rcademy- and future authenticity, they decided to change it to DataMind but also provided a provision for change (Twitter). 

In 2013, Jonathan Cornelissen, together with Martijn, received Dieter and Albert who helped them to proceed with the project by building the prototype. Later in the year, the three of them except Albert started a company bearing in mind the same concept. They faced a severe financial challenge of raising the capital for the start since they knew the company could take longer to generate income. They pooled together their savings which added up to twenty thousand dollars, but it was not enough; hence, they decided to relocate to Chile from Belgium to participate in the Start-up Chile program

Through this program, the Government of Belgium gave them a grant of approximately twenty-five thousand dollars. iMinds also gave them an investment of roughly fifty thousand dollars. The funds helped Jonathan Cornelissen and his team to start the first version of their platform and the first courses on the platform. DataMind struggled to establish, but the finances ended again, and they decided to join Techstars NYC program after getting support. They then established now after two years of being under Techstars. In 2015 and 2016 they raised more money, and in April 2017 DataCamp company rapidly grew.

 

More on Cornelissen´s biography at https://underdog.nyc/jonathan-cornelissen

Leave a Reply