WADSWORTH — After 16 years operating as a consulting business for the manufacturing and distribution industries, downtown-based SaberLogic changed gears and raised $2 million for a new business venture.
“Over the years, we have seen a lot of the same problems with our clients over and over again,” SaberLogic CEO Adam Ellis said Monday. “Like a lot of entrepreneurs, you kind of think, is there a way that I can solve this problem in a much bigger way?”
Ellis, 39, said his Main Street company is offering a mobile applications development platform, Bezlio, which allows a company’s employees to use any smartphone device to access their data in real time without having to remotely sign onto on-premise software systems.
Ellis said that sometimes the best computer software for a particular company is not cloud-based, but has to be installed on the company’s network, and many times does not include an app for mobile access.
“If you are sitting at your desk all day long that is not a problem,” Ellis said. “You can just jump into your different screens, you can go in and out of different systems. The problem gets to be when you are not sitting in front of your computer all day.”
The Bezlio app was released in January 2017.
Ellis said SaberLogic, which started with four employees and now employs 25, attended the 3 Rivers Venture Fair in Pittsburgh last year.
“It is sort of like speed-dating for investors,” Ellis said. “You have exactly three minutes to pitch your company to investors.”
The company was able to walk away from the conference with a term sheet, meaning one of the potential investors expressed interest in the Bezlio app.
“That was a really big deal for us and really what it meant was kind of validation from these VCs (venture capitalists) that we were onto something, and we started down the process of really locking up the rest of the investors,” Ellis said.
The Cleveland-based company JumpStart Inc. is SaberLogic’s lead investor, with other investors from around Ohio and Chicago getting the company its seed money, Ellis said.
“What it means to us is that we can take this vision that we have and spend the next 12-18 months focusing explicitly on that only,” Ellis said. “Only 2 percent of companies get these sorts of opportunities with these VCs.”
Medina County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Bethany Dentler said technology companies play a significant role in the local economy.
“It is gratifying to see a Medina County company receive this kind of investment,” Dentler said in an email Monday. “It provides evidence that our community can support the growth of driven entrepreneurs who are attracting world-class technology talent and tapping into local resources to succeed in a major way.”
Main Street Wadsworth Executive Director Adrianne Krauss said it is great to see a downtown Wadsworth business achieve such success.
“Main Street Wadsworth’s mission is the revitalization of downtown Wadsworth, and their success is representative of a growing success of our downtown business district,” she said Monday. “We believe the economy is coming back, and this is especially true for downtowns like ours.”
Ellis said there are some challenges to operating a technology company away from the industry’s California hub in Silicon Valley.
“It is not just access to money that really makes a company be able to thrive, it is an entire eco-system,” he said. “Being in this area, we do have a challenge to really get to scale like they would out there.”
Ellis said Ohio does have a lot of forward-thinking people looking to create a “thriving technology scene” in the Buckeye State.
The goal for SaberLogic is to have 15,000 users on the Bezlio platform in three years and a staff of about 40 people, Ellis said.
“Whenever you get in the whole VC ecosystem, the ultimate game is to become one of those tech unicorns, where you are like a $1 billion valuation company,” he said.
“This is the kind of stuff that you hear about in the valley all the time, but here we are an Ohio company who is making that same sort of run at it,” Ellis said.
For information, visit https://www.saberlogic.com.