Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network has selected Colorado Springs technology firm ISSAC to join its network of emerging technology businesses believed to be on the brink of explosive growth.
Founded by U.S. Navy veteran Tim Jones, ISSAC is an acronym for Innovative Support Services and Analytics Consulting. The firm focuses its talents on developing software that works to make different systems function together to better analyze data.
“We look at not only a single system on how it functions, but how multiple systems function together,” Jones said. “Most things in our life anymore do not function in a vacuum.”
As an example, he said the national energy grid collects electricity from various sources — coal and natural-gas-fired plants, wind, solar, water and ground sources.
“They all have to be interactive,” Jones said. “It’s really looking at that holistic system-of-systems approach.”
The engineers, physicists and IT professionals at ISSAC build custom algorithms and software to analyze complex data, he said.
“We feel like we don’t have a lot of competitors because we think we’re unique on how we’re analyzing data,” Jones said.
Privately held by Jones and his wife Eve, ISSAC started in early 2007 performing engineering analytics work in the defense industry. It now maintains contracts with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. The business is moving into commercial applications for the health care, energy, logistics and cyber industries, he added.
Jones expects BEN Colorado membership will be a powerful tool for ISSAC, saying, “I joke that we’re going to compete with IBM someday.”
BEN Colorado selects two firms every month to join the network, said Kate Waller, director of business development at BEN Colorado. The group has identified more than 100 specialists and “successful serial entrepreneur” industry and growth advisers to provide advice and assistance to Colorado high-growth businesses.
“We know there’s a number of resources available to early-stage companies,” she said.
“Our companies are beyond the early-stage growth. Our goal is to help them reach the next level and overcome challenges.”
Benefits to BEN Colorado members include higher visibility on a national and international stage, expertise from the network and opportunities to give back to the community, Waller said.
“By connecting to others, good things happen,” she said. “The more we can support high-growth companies in the state, the better we can put Colorado at the forefront of growth.”
The national funding for BEN Colorado from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation targeted five industries in Colorado: technology, health care, aerospace, energy and food.
To date, ISSAC is the only BEN Colorado company outside the Denver-Boulder area.
“We’re looking for high-growth companies that are Colorado-headquartered,” Waller said. “We look for companies that have top-line revenue [and?] that they’re past the early stage. The ballpark is typically around $5 million.”
BEN Colorado formed during 2014 after receiving a $3 million gift from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in New York City.
The only other BEN in the United States is located in North Carolina, said Waller.
“Our mission is to help position Colorado and Colorado companies … to really increase the density of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the state,” Waller said.