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Baltimore Startup Hopes to Raise $1.5M for Health Inspection Data Website

Baltimore startup HD Scores has launched its first round of financing this month in hopes of raising $1.5 million to support its main product, a website that it bills as the most comprehensive health department inspection data from jurisdictions in the US and Canada. HD Scores launched the site in May and plans put the data on the website in early 2013 and sell the data to clients.
Operating out of a virtual office, the company is currently hiring two key personnel, a chief technology officer and national vice president of business development.
The idea for HD Scores came to Matthew Eierman, a trained chef, when he sought health inspection information about a restaurant in Annapolis that friends were considering opening. It took Eierman, founder and CEO of HD Scores, almost three hours to track down the data, “and I knew where to look,” he says. “I thought, there’s an issue here."
HD Scores is collecting data from 3,200 counties around the US and Canada. The publicly available health department inspection data comes from local and state governments.
HD Scores will publish the data in its raw form, directly from the database, which will be available for viewing free. The company will also standardize it, meaning that, based on proprietary algorithms, the raw data will be put into an easy-to-read format searchable by multiple platforms.
Eierman says HD Scores expects the standardized data to be used for marketing and/or research. Potential clients include advertising applications and web platforms; government and media groups; academics; and commercial entities and restaurants. He declined to provide pricing information.
In January, HD Scores will launch a consumer feedback column on its website in which 30-second videos taken on smart phones will be posted. It also is putting together a panel of experts in food service and health inspection to devise its own independent rating system for restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, and any commercial kitchen.
Source: Matthew Eierman, HD Scores
Writer: Barbara Pash
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