By Alpa Agarwal

Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 SocialFest, an event led by the Emerging Business Team of Microsoft in Silicon Valley, will feature seven startups who are building social-oriented applications on Microsoft Sharepoint 2010.

Cortex Intelligence, a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based startup was founded in 2003 with a grant from FINEP to research text mining. FINEP is a Brazilian government organization dedicated to promoting innovation by awarding research and development grants. While Cortex’ research in text mining won them accolades, it was a great technology looking for a customer problem.

Many late night brainstorming meetings later, the founders hit on a need: market intelligence. Market Intelligence is a process by which organizations gather, analyze and disseminate information regarding a company’s external environment for better decision making.

Thus was born the Cortex Competitiva® Platform and the tag line, “Turning information into results.” The Cortex Competitiva® Platform, awarded by the Brazilian Competitive Intelligence Association as the first integrated support system for the competitive intelligence process, supports employees in organizations through text and data mining technologies to leverage information both within their organization and externally, to enhance decision-making.

The Cortex Platform offers a modular structure, is customizable to client needs, combines structured data analysis technology (data mining) with non-structured text mining and can use a variety of internal and external data sources.

In addition to the software solution, Cortex also offers consulting and outsourcing services for competitive intelligence.

Their client list is impressive. It includes some of the largest companies in Latin America in industries such as oil and gas, banking and credit cards, insurance, chemicals, retail and ecommerce, metals and mining, among others.

At Microsoft Sharepoint SocialFest, Cortex will develop Cortex Competitiva® for SharePoint, an information service of Sharepoint web parts that will enable Sharepoint users within an organization to pull-in relevant data from external sources, for reports on what is happening in their markets. The types of information include quantitative market data, text mining-enriched news articles and qualified social media data. Cortex’ Sharepoint webparts will also integrate with Sharepoint’s collaboration features, enabling users to share, discuss and act on the insights triggered by the market intelligence.