Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Class of 2013: Darden MBA Student, Computer Science Alum Found Tech Company to Manage ‘Big Data’

Kyle Redinger will walk the University of Virginia’s Lawn on Sunday for the second time in a decade, this time as a member of the Darden School of Business’ graduating class of 2013. On the verge of becoming a freshly minted MBA, the soon-to-be double ’Hoo attained a bachelor’s degree from the McIntire School of Commerce in 2005 with a second major in anthropology from the College of Arts & Sciences.

Redinger met Baron Schwartz this past summer, and the two struck up a fast friendship. In addition to a passion for technology and business, the two share a common linchpin – Schwartz, too, is a U.Va. graduate, having earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2003 from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Over the past year, the two founded VividCortex, a company dedicated to introducing technical intelligence to manage complex information systems.  

No one has ever labeled Redinger complacent; VividCortex is his most recent of three startups. The other two are the SuperFit Games – sold to a group of investors in Richmond – and CrossFit Charlottesville. Redinger remained heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the two active endeavors while serving as a full-time Darden MBA student. 

Standing on the steps of Darden’s Saunders Hall on a cool and rainy May afternoon, Redinger reflected on his workload.

“Let’s just say that I am relieved to be graduating,” he said with a smirk. “I took my last final on Monday. It’s been a journey, but Darden has prepared me for what lies ahead.”

In a world where the term “big data” permeates society, VividCortex’s products help customers measure, analyze and understand system behavior at a very deep level.

“Currently, there are good tools in the application and network layers, but usable tools for servers and databases are practically nonexistent,” Redinger said. “We are fixing that, focusing first on tools for MySQL, a popular open source database.”

Redinger likened their product to the “Star Trek” Tricorder – a device that scans, analyzes and records data. “We make a measurement and insight tool for server analysis and monitoring,” he explained. “We are tackling a very big market. Data is accumulating at exponential rates within companies and those companies cannot find and retain the talented people they need to manage these large systems. We empower people to better handle the management of big data through tools built with a purpose.” 

To date, Redinger and Schwartz have raised approximately $700,000 in seed funding, gone after well-known consumer Web companies and built a highly talented technical team.

“I have consulted many recognizable companies like Tumblr on their server performance issues,” Schwartz added. “We have hundreds of companies on our beta waiting list. This is a very exciting time for us and our company.”

Darden professor Timothy Kraft said Redinger has what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.

“Both inside and outside of the classroom, Kyle has displayed a natural curiosity and desire that has helped him to thrive at Darden and that I know will propel him to success as an entrepreneur,” he said. “Someday, I fully anticipate Kyle returning to Darden as an alum with a number of successful startups under his belt, including VividCortex.”

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