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Bucknell entrepreneurs' ScheduleFast takes off

Working out his sophomore year class schedule at Bucknell, Tony Tomashefski started writing software to navigate conflicts. Now a senior majoring in computer engineering and management, his ScheduleFast is used by roughly 57% of the Bucknell student body.
 
Tomashefski and business partner Zach Crowley, were the first-place winners at last month's Business Pitch Competition, hosted by Bucknell University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC). 
 
"Tony and Zach identified a clearly  understandable problem from their own experience as students and have developed a great solution in ScheduleFast," says Steve Stumbris, the SBDC's director. "The traction they've already achieved was perhaps the most impressive part of their pitch; the majority of the freshman class at Bucknell are already users of their product."
 
Tomashefski says he had never built a website when he decided to share his idea with other Bucknell students. "People started to use the site (feedback was really encouraging) so I kept developing it further and further." He registered ScheduleFast as an LLC a year ago and started to generate some revenue with advertisements. Crowley joined last semester to focus on expansion and marketing.
 
The two young entrepreneurs are currently experimenting with different business models, says Tomashefski, and are attempting to generate revenue off the sale of books through Amazon's affiliate program.
 
"I am currently in the process of writing a mobile app for Android and we should have an iOS app in production sometime next semester," he adds. "We plan on building up the website and pursuing a viable revenue model in the coming months."
 
As first-prize winner, the pair will be helped with their prize of $1,500 and one year's membership in Bucknell's Entrepreneurs Incubator
 
Source: Tony Tomashefski, ScheduleFast
Writer: Elise Vider

Penn's new hybrid incubator/seed fund supports education entrepreneurs

With funding from an array of venture capitalists and investors, four education startups are getting support from the Education Design Studio Inc. (EDSi), a new hybrid incubator and seed fund established by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.
 
Dr. Barbara Kurshan of GSE describes the  $2.1 million EDSi as a "new innovation ecosystem we are building for entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and teachers." A mash up of an incubator, design studio, seed fund and social impact company, EDSi is virtual for now, as it helps launch four startups: Adidapter, ApprenNet, Raise Labs and scrible.  GSE is actively searching for a physical location in Philadelphia, where it expects to locate EDSi next year. 
 
The four startups were among the winners and finalists at the 2013 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition. A new cohort of education entrepreneurs will be chosen from participants at the May 2014 competition.
 
Investors in EDSi include Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania; McGraw-Hill Education; Ron Packard of K12 Inc.; Drs. Steve and Jessica Melman from Dermazoo; John H. Cammack, Managing Partner of Cammack Associates; John Katzman, CEO of The Noodle Companies LLC; the Brigitte and Donald Manekin Family Fund; Gregory Milken; Richard Binswanger, President/CEO of Away To Donate; Dr. Wallace Boston, CEO of American Public Education, Inc.; and Eric Aroesty. 
 
For McGraw-Hill Education, the investment  –  "the company's biggest and most formal foray into the world of startup incubators," according to spokesman Brian Belardi – is an opportunity to potentially partner, acquire or hire innovators in the fast-evolving education technology arena. "We get to lend capital, time and experience," says Belardi, "and we get access to these education startup companies and an ear to the ground in education technology."

Source: Dr. Barbara Kurshan, Penn GSE and Brian Belardi, McGraw-Hill Education
Writer: Elise Vider
 

Bellefonte's Actuated Medical continues to grow with new FDA clearance, new products, more jobs

In August 2012, when Keystone Edge last checked in with Actuated Medical,  the Bellefonte company had just gotten FDA clearance to begin U.S. sales of its TubeClear medical device.
 
Not resting on its laurels, the company has now received additional FDA clearance for its expanded line, is preparing to launch a new product and continues to grow its workforce.
 
President Maureen Mulvihill reports that latest FDA clearance "expands our market significantly." TubeClear is a device that removes clogs in medical feeding and decompression tubes without the discomfort and expense of detaching them from the patient. The new FDA clearance gives the green light to new models that are of particular use with chronically ill patients in long-term care with diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or cancer, says Mulvihill.
 
The system can provide annual savings of $243,000 for a typical 500-bed facility, she adds, and Actuated has recently signed with a large hospital system and is in process with another.
 
Actuated is also preparing for the January launch of an altogether new product, General Sharp, for low-force insertion of lancets and needles for more humane blood sampling. And the company expects to go back to the FDA again in 2014 with additional models of TubeClear to enable further applications.
 
All of this activity means scaled-up manufacturing in Bellefonte. The company just hired a director of manufacturing  -- its workforce now stands at 24, up from 17 last August – and Mulvihill anticipates continued job creation.
 
Source: Maureen Mulvihill, Actuated Medical
Writer: Elise Vider
 
 

In only a year, prospects for Philly's Cloudnexa are sunny

In less than a year, Philadelphia's Cloudnexa has completed its first round of fundraising, generating $2.3 million in investments, signed multiple, multi-million-dollar contracts, created a workforce of 16 and has just moved into new corporate headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
 
And been designated by Amazon Web Services as one of only 22 "premier consulting partners" for 2014.
 
Cloudnexa delivers cloud-management-as-a service through Amazon Web Services with its proprietary software platform. CEO Joel Davne, Bill Testa, MJ DiBerardino and Josh Resnick established the company in December 2012.
 
Davne attributes the company's strong growth to, among other factors, the growing acceptance of cloud computing and its wide application across market segments. "The value proposition is clear," he says. "Do you want to purchase servers or save money on infrastructure? We save [clients] time and energy and we insure their success [with 24/7 customer service out of Philly.]"
 
So far, the public sector, notably federal government and higher education, is the biggest revenue driver for Cloudnexa, Davne says. Major contracts include a $250 million, four-year contract with the Army and others with the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the University of Minnesota and, most recently, Carnegie Mellon University. Other market segments include large and mid-market private enterprise ("our bread and butter," says Davne) and, recently, Internet service providers.
 
With its success in raising $2.3 million from sources including lead investor Milestone Venture Partners,  Gabriel Investments and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Davne anticipates expanding into global sales and doubling the Philadelphia-based workforce to 32 in 2014.
 
Source: Joel Davne, Cloudnexa
Writer: Elise Vider

Bethlehem's Azevan is developing novel treatments for stress, mood and behavioral disorders

Anti-depressants are a multi-billion-dollar market in the United States, but a full half of patients do not respond to existing drugs. Nor are there any approved medications for a host of other stress, mood and behavioral disorders.
 
Bethlehem's Azevan Pharmaceuticals is aiming squarely at those markets by targeting a different neurochemical system than the conventional SSRI drugs that dominate the market. "We're developing medications that target the vasopressin receptor antagonist system, which is widely recognized for its role in social and emotional behaviors," says CEO and co-founder Neal Simon.
 
The company's most advanced compound, SRX246, a treatment for intermittent explosive disorder, will begin phase-two, clinical trials in the first quarter of 2014 and are expected to take about 18 months, says Simon.  At present, he adds, there is no such pharmaceutical treatment.
 
Azevan is also developing treatment for anger, aggression and impulse control disorders, which often spring from traumatic brain injury, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and personality disorders. Again, no treatments.
 
PTSD itself is the most rapidly growing psychiatric diagnosis in the United States and a major issue in military medicine. Yet, says Simon, most of the drug treatments available are repurposed anti-depressants that are "minimally if at all effective." He is cautiously optimistic that a clinical trial for Azevan's PTSD treatment will get underway in 2014.
 
Founded in 2005, Azevan has raised about $9 million overall from the National Institutes of Health. Other funders are Ascent Biomedical Ventures, Scientific Health Development, the National Institutes of Mental Health,  the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA  and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA
 
Azevan is in ongoing discussions to partner with a large, pharmaceutical maker to ultimately commercialize its drug treatments. For now, the company employs seven, and Simon hopes to add more jobs as clinical trials proceed.
 
Source: Neal Simon, Azevan Pharmaceuticals

Writer: Elise Vider
 
 

Norristown's RxSport is building a better baseball bat and creating jobs

As a fan, David Chandler followed professional baseball's concerns about how frequently bats break, a costly and potentially dangerous problem. As a woodworker, Chandler thought he could build a better bat.
 
His RxSport Corporation in Norristown has perfected a technologically advanced and labor-intensive process that results, says Chandler, in baseball bats of exceptional strength, reliability and performance.
 
In 2010, only one year after its founding, Rx won certification to manufacture bats for Major League Baseball. Since then, the company has captured nearly 22% of the MLB market for maple and ash handcrafted bats.  Players on teams including the Phillies, Washington Nationals and NY Yankees use the company's Chandler bats.
 
Now Rx has received $500,000 in funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The investment will go, says Chandler, to boost production by acquiring "an arsenal of raw material in order to capture market share."
 
High quality wood – much of it sourced from Pennsylvania or nearby – is essential.  More wood bats break today than in years past, the company says, because wood billets are increasingly sawn rather than split from logs to increase yield and efficiency. Sawn wood is less likely to have a straight grain (the straighter the grain, the stronger the bat) and natural defects are harder to detect. Rx uses a labor-intensive method of hand selecting the highest-quality wood, then drying, manufacturing and finishing to extremely high levels of tolerance for dimensions and weight.
 
The company currently employs 13 and is adding another three production jobs by the end of the year. In 2014, Chandler envisions four more hires and five internships. He is also looking at expanding the product line to include metal bats, apparel and other on- and off-the-field products "to help [customers] feel more confident as athletes."
 
Source: David Chandler, RxSport Corporation
Writer: Elise Vider
 

From wine stoppers to flower pots, Jessup's Besta Cork turns recycled cork into consumer wares

In only a few months, a Scranton-area startup has kept tens of thousands of corks – 91,750 as of October 8, to be precise – out of landfills. Instead, Besta Cork recycles all those wine stoppers and crafts them into an expanding line of consumer products.
 
Shawn Whitiak founded the company earlier this year with partners Michelle Mendez and Paula Corrales after the trio of young entrepreneurs won the Great Valley Technology Alliance Business Plan Competition. Casting about for an innovative business idea, Whitiak, an undergraduate business major at Keystone College, saw a cork chair designed by Corrales and "was completely blown away by the possibilities of cork."

Cork, says Besta Cork, is the ideal, sustainable material for consumer products: it is highly durable, light, compressible and elastic, non-toxic, biodegradable, antibacterial, non-conductive and not flammable.
 
The competition awarded the trio $50,000 in cash and in-kind services, including business consulting, accounting services, web design and office space at the TekRidge Center, a technology incubator at the Jessup Small Business Center.
 
Besta Cork partners with Cork Reharvest, the nation's largest cork recycler. Besta Cork, Whitiak explains, grinds and mixes the cork with non-toxic materials in his garage. Next, it is packed into molds and heated up in his oven for 40 minutes, emerging as Besta Corks' line of bowls, flower pots and even a stool. 
 
The company's line of "Corkit" flower pots allow plants to breathe, eliminating the need for drainage. The "Acorn Chair" is a stool that can support up to 200 pounds.  
 
Source: Shawn Whitiak, Besta Cork
Writer: Elise Vider

Wanted: shale gas innovators; Reward: $25,000-plus

The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center is looking for researchers, entrepreneur or innovators with great ideas in the shale gas space in Pennsylvania or West Virginia.
 
SGICC announced the 3rd annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest, with a purse of $25,000 in cash prizes for each of the four best shale gas-oriented innovations, new product ideas or service concepts that are either in the development stage or recently launched. Besides cash, the winners are also promised exposure to investors, potential partners and industry sponsors.
 
"Any idea related to the shale gas space is eligible - even if the product or service has already been commercially developed," said SGICC Director Bill Hall in a statement. "Examples include natural gas utilization products/services, remote site monitoring, well pad EH&S products or services, natural gas or NGL conversion technologies and water management or remediation technologies."
 
Applications are due February 1, 2014; a panel of industry experts will choose finalists.
 
This year's contest has been expanded to include West Virginia through a grant from the Benedum Foundation. The 3rd Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest is co-sponsored by Ben Franklin Technology Partners, ANGA, Acorn Energy, AquaTech, Baker Hughes, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Chevron Technology Ventures, CONSOL Energy, Chesapeake Energy, First National Bank, GE Oil & Gas, Little Pine Resources, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Praxair, Range Resources and Seneca Resources Corporation.
 
Source: SGICC
Writer: Elise Vider
 

Pittsburgh entrepreneurs: It's Thrill Mill business plan competition time

Thrill Mill, a nonprofit accelerator for Pittsburgh startups, is choosing its next class of young businesses to get cash, mentoring, space at its incubator and, by the looks of it, a great time.
 
The Business Bout competition offers $25,000 to one winning team of entrepreneurs and $5,000 each to 14 others. They'll all also get mentoring, in-kind support and office space at the Hustle Den, Thrill Mill's incubator space in Pittsburgh's East Liberty section.
 
Business Bout, say the organizers, "is designed to be ultimately pro-entrepreneur: the competition is open to ideas across all industries (anything from bakeries, to non-profits, to high-tech)."
 
Applicants need only submit a two-page application – one page describing their idea, one page introducing the people behind the idea and why they want to grow their business in Pittsburgh. Proposals  should be submitted by email and are due by midnight, December 6.
 
Last year's top winner was Project Aura, which had the bright idea of attaching lights to bicycle wheel rims.
 
This year's finalists will hone their skills at the three-day Venture Boot Camp in January before making 30-minute presentations. The 15 winners will take up residency for one year at the Hustle Den in late February.
 
Thrill Mill  takes a 5% ownership stake in each of the winners. Over the course of the year, the winning teams will get intensive training in entrepreneurship by Carnegie Mellon professor Babs Carryer and C-Leveled, a Pittsburgh consultancy,  and will get to make investor pitches at the Thrival Innovation and Music Festival in September.
 
Source: Thrill Mill
Writer: Elise Vider

Lehigh's new master's in entrepreneurship wins N. American university honors

About 10 years ago, John B. Ochs, a mechanical engineering professor at Lehigh University, began to observe that students in the school's popular undergraduate Capstone program were less interested in working on industry projects as in developing their own ideas.
 
In recognition of that entrepreneurial impulse among today's students ("permanent and incredibly healthy," says Ochs), Lehigh launched its Master of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship (MTE) in 2012, graduating its first class of 14 entrepreneurs earlier this year.
 
Now the program has been recognized by the Pittsburgh-based University Economic Development Association as one of the top university economic initiatives in North America.
 
Product development and company launch are graduation requirements for the MTE program, which features dedicated curriculum, faculty and studio space. "You're going to learn by launching. You're going to figure out what it means to be an entrepreneur by being an entrepreneur," says Ochs, the MTE director. "It sounds trite, but we firmly believe that you learn by doing."
 
Students are immersed for a full 12 months in a tight, skunkworks atmosphere, with courses including intellectual property creation and management, visual thinking, prototyping, modeling and testing, product development and business planning.
 
The first graduating class has launched startups including Eleanor Kalle, a New York-based jewelry designer; Second Shift Innovations, which creates next-generation tools for first responders; and Venos,  which developed a device to attach iPads to MacBooks to create a mobile dual screen.
 
The second MTE class of 28 will graduate in spring 2014; the program's 10-year goal is to graduate 90 student entrepreneurs and launch 50 new companies each year.
 
The MTE students come from a wide range of majors, backgrounds and interests, says Ochs. But there is one essential common denominator. "If you're going to be an entrepreneur," he says, "you have to have passion for what you do because it's going to envelop your life."
 
Source: John B. Ochs, Lehigh University
Writer: Elise Vider
 
 
 
 
 

Baseball, energy, gaming and more: Ben Franklin funds 9 early-stage tech firms

Nine early-stage Philadelphia tech companies will receive nearly $2.2 million from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) to advance their businesses.
 
Cloudnexa,  $250,000
Philadelphia's Cloudnexa delivers cloud management solutions, migration, deployments and professional services, allowing clients to move and manage their applications into the cloud with streamlined managed services capabilities.
 
Community Energy, Inc., $400,000 (Ben Franklin previously committed $400,000)
Based in Radnor, CEI is a clean energy company uniquely positioned on both sides of the supply-demand equation, building solar and wind energy projects by engaging customers through products and services. In 2012, CEI constructed the Keystone Solar Project in Lancaster County, the largest solar project in Pennsylvania.
 
EyeIC, Inc., $25,000 (Ben Franklin previously committed $725,000)
West Conshohocken's EyeIC is a cutting-edge healthcare technology firm dedicated to commercializing image analysis technologies for medical applications.  EyeIC's MatchedFlicker® is a new technology for monitoring the advent and progression of retinal disease and glaucoma through change detection in time series images.
 
FLOWatch, LLC, $250,000
The Philadelphia's company’s flagship product of the same name, FLOWatch®, is a next-generation, data-management system focused primarily on the water utility and environmental fields.  The web-based, enterprise-wide system provides a back-end, neutral data-management solution, giving control over data definition and access directly to plant managers and operators.
 
Lumigent, LLC, $375,000
Lumigent in Glenside is a lighting retrofit company that offers energy efficiency products and services. The Lumigent model enables clients to participate in the lighting retrofit market with limited investment in infrastructure costs.  It offers a single-source solution, from audit through proposal, to customers competing for turnkey retrofit lighting projects.
 
OrthogenRx, Inc., $175,000
Doylestown's OrthogenRx is a late-stage product development and marketing organization developing generic Class III medical devices in orthopedics. The company utilizes a new business model focused on a product portfolio of generic medical devices with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal therapeutic area: rheumatology, physiatry, orthopedics and sports medicine specialties.
 
RxSport Corporation,  $500,000
Norristown's RxSport (Chandler Bats) originated when its founder, a furniture maker in Greensboro, NC, noticed the increased number of broken maple bats in Major League Baseball and realized flaws in how they were designed and manufactured. RxSport perfected a technologically advanced and labor-intensive process that maintains the utmost strength of materials and quality of design and has gone on to supply bats to a number of major league teams.

Shenandoah Studio, LLC, $150,000
Philly's Shenandoah is a game studio focused on turn-based strategy games for the iPad and iPhone, allowing hobby gamers to play serious board games on their mobile electronic devices. The company’s first product, an iPad simulation of the Battle of the Bulge, was released in December 2012 with great success.  Since then it released a free version of the game, and created an iPhone version.  Shenandoah is slated to release three new games: Drive on Moscow, Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, and El Alamein.
 
TuvaLabs, LLC, $50,000
Philly's TuvaLabs has created an online platform that takes news stories about significant events taking place around the world and transforms them into interactive math learning units for students. TuvaLabs is a member of the Project Liberty Digital Incubator, housed by the Interstate Media Group, funded by the Knight Foundation, and operated and supported by Ben Franklin. 

Source: BFTP/SEP
Writer: Elise Vider
 

Growing Doylestown biotech pitches Philly on UK trade mission

Renold Capocasale, founder and CEO of Doylestown's FlowMetric  was in London this week with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to extol the virtues of the region as an ideal location for overseas companies.
 
For Capocasale, it was also a chance to attract potential partners, investors and clients for his company, a contract research organization that works with pharmaceutical and biotech firms, research institutions and medical facilities on development of drugs and therapeutics.
 
"We have the know-how to help no-go or go decision making as early as pre-clinical drug discovery all the way through the clinical trial process," says Capocasale.
 
He founded the company in 2010 after working for 16 years in drug development for Johnson & Johnson. When he was caught up in a gigantic round of layoffs, he seized "the chance to do something proactive rather than reactive."
 
Since then, he says, the company has doubled its revenues every year. So when Pennsylvania Bio – about which Capocasale offers kudos – made him aware of the trade mission, he was gung ho. "We believe strongly in the region as a center for growth in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)," he says.
 
In September, FlowMetric opened an office in Milan, Italy in order to work more effectively with European Union and American companies doing clinical trials overseas.  And Capocasale is in the process of incorporating a spin-off, FlowMetric Diagnostics, to take advantage of a $100 million market.
 
FlowMetric currently employs seven in at its headquarters at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County and Capocasale expects to hire two more by the end of the year, with more hiring in the first quarter of 2014. With the new company, he anticipates "lots of job creation" by the end of 2014.
 
Source: Renold Capocasale, FlowMetric

Writer: Elise Vider

New facility, new products and more jobs at Carlisle's fast-growing Tex Visions

In 2004, Tex Visions started operations at the TechCelerator@Carlisle at the Murata Business Center. The 23-year-old founder Marcel Ruhland and a sales manager worked from a 375-foot office suite.
 
Last week, Tex Visions cut the ribbon on its brand-ne, 60,000-square-foot facility, where its 50-plus employees are at work making display hardware and doing large-format custom printing.  
 
The company has maintained explosive growth, even through the recession, says Marketing Manager Ashley Werner.  "We found our niche and rolled with it," she says. The big leap occurred in 2008 when the company added in-house production. 
 
"Murata provided us the space we needed for our staff and also accommodated our need for production space as we grew," says Werner.
 
But by 2011, the company had outgrown the TechCelerator. The Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority stepped in with a $2 million loan to help Tex Visions build its new, stand-alone facility in Carlisle, with office, production and warehouse space. 
 
Tex Visions invests heavily in R&D, Werner says, and is constantly innovating and growing. New machinery, just delivered to the new plant, will enable Tex Visions to expand its printing capabilities to rigid materials such as custom-cut magnets. 
 
A new e-commerce site allows customers to shop online.  The company employs a full team of software developers who are now working on new functions to better process artwork and a tool that will enable customers to design their own materials. 
 
"Every month we have a new product launch, " Werner says. "We already have thousands of [products] so we might as well keep going." 
 
And innovation drives job creation. The company is currently hiring five new members of its sales team and Werner anticipates adding another five to 10 more over the next year on the production side. 
 
 
Source: Ashley Werner, Tex Visions
Writer: Elise Vider

Good news on Philadelphia venture capital front

After a number of rough years, 2012 saw an increase in the number of venture capital deals and dollars flowing to Philadelphia region technology companies. And 2013 is looking good.
 
A new report  released by Ernst & Young,  Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP)  and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT),  reports that 2012 was the best year since 2008 for investment in the region, bucking the national trend of declining deals and dollars.
 
"And early results from 2013 appear to be on track to meet or exceed the five-year average annual investment amount of $750 million," the report says.
 
The report finds that 2012 investment in the region was $698 million: $580 million in 59 deals came from venture capital firms, $59 million in 64 deals from angel investors, $51 million in 11 deals from corporate/strategic investors and $7 million in 57 deals from seed funds and accelerators.
 
The numbers reinforce Philly's strength in the life sciences, which accounted for 41% of all funded companies since 2008. But the report also finds a significant uptick in the software and information technology sectors, accounting for 33% of all companies funded, which it attributes to a surge in investment activity for enterprise software companies starting last year.
 
"The results … are a further impetus for entrepreneurs to choose the Greater Philadelphia region to launch and grow their enterprises," says RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, BFTP/SEP's CEO.
 
 
Source: Jaron Rhodes, BFTP/SEP
Writer: Elise Vider
 

For inundated hiring managers, Philly's gatherDocs offers a solution

For retail, hospitality and service industries, hiring is a constant, traditionally involving floods of emails, overflowing file cabinets and paper. Lots and lots of paper.
 
Now gatherDocs, a Philadelphia startup, is offering a mobile hiring solution that provides a simple, centralized system for recruiting and hiring for a target market of retailers, restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations and more.
 
There are a number of software tools to serve human resources in white-collar industries, says gatherDocs co-founder Alex King. But not much for those who hire cashiers, sales associates, wait staff and other hourly, non-salaried help and "are constantly hiring for the same positions, over and over."
 
gatherDocs allows managers to collect applications, evaluate applicants, schedule interviews and sort, rank and organize applications. In one click, a retailer can post the same job description to hundreds of locations or filter applicants to see who is available for 5 a.m. shifts.
 
Prospects can apply by scanning a QR code at an in-store "now hiring" sign, send a text or visit the company's page on the gatherDocs mobile site. 
 
King founded the company last year with Bruce Marable, a high school classmate, and Dan Lopez. The three also are partners in Defined Clarity, a web-consulting firm. gatherDocs is already out with a fully commercialized product, which King thinks will do especially well as seasonal hiring ramps up. 
 
The company is also rolling out a new "onboard" capacity that allows hires to fill out tax forms and the like on their devices. "Our aim is to optimize the entire hiring process," says King.
 
gatherDocs has a staff of five and expects to add two positions next year. King's goal is to grow to 70 within five years. And the firm is full committed to Philadelphia. "There is no chance of us moving," he says.   "We’re ingrained here in Philadelphia."
 
Source: Alex King, gatherDocs
Writer: Elise Vider
 
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