KnowNow Information Ltd was accepted into the Global Entrepreneur Program in March 2015. Having completed the program, the company continues to use IBM services, namely Bluemix, to help clients understand, acquire and analyze their data.

KnowNow Information developed a new application based on three cloud foundry apps (a user interface, Alchemy Language API instance and webscraper – two of which are using IBM Node.js buildpacks).

Bluemix makes managing these services easy, allowing a varying number of instances of each and providing logging and monitoring services we have found quite useful,” said David Patterson, Founder and Director of KnowHow

How does it work?

After the web-scraper retrieves content from the target sites, KnowNow Information uses Alchemy Language API to extract keywords, concepts and named entities for each grant; after running these against a backlist of known common words, they can reduce these into tags for searching. Sometimes it is necessary to convert the scraped content to text before passing it through the Alchemy, due to varying website structures.

Potential for more?

The company is now considering using the Watson Document Converter and Retrieve and Rank.
Watson Document Converter can read PDFs and Word Files and covert these to normalised html, plain text or JSON which could be useful for the scraping or keyword searching of attachments and uploaded documents.

Patterson explains, ‘this service is simple to use and I am part-way through writing a module for doing this’

Retrieve and Rank allows for running a natural-language query over a set of uploaded documents (processed using the Document Converter). The result is an array of potential answers, typically being slight permutations of the same information. KnowNow Information is considering using this to generate high relevancy summaries for grants, or to index more general information about sources or current trend and news items.


As a graduate of the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, KnowNow Information has benefited from twelve months of free credits and now continue to use Bluemix as they develop new applications and generate new ideas.

The benefits and uses of Bluemix are vast – the availability of several different services all in one place makes app development far more simple and easy. KnowNow Information is launching this new app at the end of the month – make sure you go and check it out!

As a startup, you can apply to the IBM Global Entrepreneur program and receive up to $120K in no-charge Cloud credits while you’re building your business.

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