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Start Your Business Success Stories

Small Business Snapshot: PicoCluster

Small Business Snapshot: PicoCluster Credit: Travis Cameron

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Craig Brown, president and co-founder of PicoCluster, a business founded in 2015 that sells an educational computing platform for businesses, engineers and students, explains how this image represents his business.

Brown explains...

Pictured is the largest known Raspberry Pi 2 micro-computer cluster. We built it to demonstrate the scalability of our idea, and also for the shear coolness of it. It's great to see people come up to see the cluster just smiling from ear to ear, even if they didn't really understand what it is. The great thing is that it's fully functional, not just a demo or mock up.

PicoCluster is an inexpensive, engaging, and easy to use educational platform designed to help businesses, engineers, and students learn distributed and parallel computing concepts, like those used in Big Data. One of the largest and hardest to solve problems in business right now is finding skilled engineers, particularly for newer and more advanced technologies. PicoCluster addresses this problem through the use of a 3-part platform combining hardware, software, and online training.

We originally built a small cluster as a way to promote our Big Data consulting business. When we saw how popular the cluster was, we decided to explore the concept to see if there was something really there. We built a couple of prototypes and started showing them around locally, and have been developing the concept since then.

We are essentially breaking new ground with our product. Many people see what we're doing and think it looks cool, but the most common question is "Why?" Once we show them what our product can do, then the light really goes on and what we're doing makes perfect sense. We've talked to more than a thousand people from professionals to moms and dads, and they all get it. We've proven there is a viable market. The hardest part really is in completing the hardware and training platform so that people can start purchasing it.

Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.