By Michele Hujber
In 1998, when Yaron Avitov was setting up Sentry Financials, he wasn’t familiar with business incubators or their services. This changed when he was introduced to Burlington County College High Technology and Life Science Incubators.
Avitov says that taking up residency in the incubator facility was extremely beneficial. It wasn’t just an office: it gave the company access to many important related services. The Burlington County Chamber of Commerce is conveniently located in the same building, and that helped Sentry Financials to make many important contacts with professional service providers, such as lawyers and accountants. Avitov also particularly appreciated the incubator’s advisory board. The company had everything it needed right in the building. Avitov considers the incubator a “phenomenal” resource.
Sentry Financials started out with just two employees. The company spent two years developing its core product: software for collateral management solutions to financial institutions. Within two years, the company expanded to 12 employees and moved to an office building located across the street from the incubator in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. By end of 2000, Sentry Financials had grown to 30 employees and was successfully sold to Algorithmics, an IBM company, retaining all of its talent.
In a press release announcing the acquisition, David Wechter, partner for Sentry Financial, described the strengths they brought to Algorithmics. He noted that Sentry Financial’s collateral management solution was already in use by some of the leading innovators in the collateral area. These same firms were seeking sophisticated solutions to integrate their collateral and credit risk programs. With Algorithmics, the company was teaming with a global leader in credit risk solutions having more than 100 clients. Sentry’s collateral management software was a perfect complement to Algorithmics’ advanced credit risk solutions. Combined with Algorithmics’ worldwide sales and implementation infrastructure, the resulting comprehensive credit risk solution greatly benefited the customers of both companies.
Algorithmics was acquired by IBM in 2011. At that time, the company employed 40-50 people in Philadelphia.
Having started another company, GoldTeir Technologies, Avitov stuck with his formula for success. His new company also found its footing in the Burlington County High Technology and Life Science Incubators. GoldTier Technologies builds and markets software products used by global financial institutions to manage their Client OnBoarding and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements with additional modules to support FATCA and Dodd Frank regulations. GoldTier is already established as the leading software provider in that area and it will keep expanding thanks to the support found at the Mount Laurel business incubator.
For information about the Burlington County College High Technology and Life Science Incubators visit http://incubators.bcc.edu; and for the New Jersey Business Incubation Network go to http://www.njbin.org.