Inside the Incubator: Spotlight on DataCicada

Get to know NextCorps incubation client, DataCicada, which is paving the way for engineers and scientists to turn raw data into meaningful predictions for their customers.

Based on an interview with DataCicada Co-Founders, Allison and Paul Yacci.

About DataCicada: Transforming Noisy Data into Meaningful Results

DataCicada believes that you know your area of expertise better than anyone else and that you should be involved in the key insights that your data represents.

“We believe in putting you in the driver seat,” said Paul Yacci, Co-Founder and Head of Data at DataCicada. “Our platform Tympana is a data curation tool for complex scientific data that integrates active learning, explainable artificial intelligence (AI), and generative AI to create robust models that can be exported for scientific workflows.”

DataCicada has supported over 50 clients through consulting and custom client software projects. “Our clients are pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, industrial manufacturers, research foundations, marketing agencies, and internet of things manufacturers,” adds Paul.

DataCicada Co-Founders, Paul and Allison Yacci
DataCicada Co-Founders, Paul and Allison Yacci, celebrate a win at Bio-IT World ’23.

Chasing a Passion in Uncertain Times

DataCicada was founded in 2020 during the COVID pandemic by married couple Allison and Paul Yacci. The company grew from the combination of Paul’s expertise in computer science, AI/ML, software development, and bioinformatics knowledge, with Allison’s experience in the startup ecosystem and business planning.

“While starting a company can feel risky and uncertain, the COVID pandemic solidified that there is no time like the present, and if we are ever going to complete this dream, now is the time,” said Allison Yacci, CEO and Co-Founder.

“Our inspiration for starting the company was the desire to choose the projects that we wanted to work on. This is particularly the case where they line up with our goals of helping the environment and advancing human health.”

DataCicada Successes and Milestones

In 2022, DataCicada was awarded a $254,000 Phase I SBIR grant by the Department of Energy to assist in funding Tympana, its inaugural product. The team launched Tympana at Bio-IT World 2023 in Boston where it won Best in Show after being presented to a panel of industry experts.

“This felt like a huge success,” said Allison. “It is one thing to have an idea, but to be able to see that idea develop into a full product that is well received by external people is very satisfying.”

This past fall, DataCicada was also awarded Best Tech Startup by TechRochester at its annual Greater Rochester Excellence and Achievements in Technology (GREAT) Awards celebration.

“The best success is when we hear from customers that this can help save researchers time and dramatically improve their data analysis,” shares Paul. “We are so thankful for the community that we belong to at NextCorps, and for our customers, partners, and mentors.”

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