The Nashville area’s most distinctive and fascinating IT entities deliver a certain innovation and impact, positively affecting various industry sectors and — in the process — our region’s economy.
It is perhaps unfortunate that many folks still view information technology as it relates to businesses in Middle Tennessee as an offshoot of the area’s health care sector. And, indeed, some of the companies you will find on our list are health care-oriented.
However, there has long been a robust roster of local IT companies that serve various business sectors.
For example, our list includes companies representing communications, finance, graphic arts, marketing and music business.
Also noteworthy: Seven companies that made the list in 2011 return for another appearance.
Compiling the list was no easy task. But we feel these 25 businesses comprise a stellar group, one that will continue to help drive Nashville’s fast-changing tech scene. The past two days, we looked at the first 16 (listed alphabetically by company) of the 25. Today we look at the final nine.
Dan Hogan, president
Keeping patients at home and on the right meds goes a long way in keeping them healthy. Studies have repeatedly shown that patients do much better at home after experiencing the trauma of a serious illness or as they recover from an accident requiring an initial hospital stay.
“Our goal is to assist post-acute providers in identifying patients who are most at risk of requiring unplanned hospital care,” Dan Hogan, company president, stated in a report. “To meet this goal, we have combined our knowledge of medication risk with an agency’s own clinical data to build a predictive modeling toolset that is more accurate than any other on the market today.”
Predictive modeling? The simplest explanation is that Medalogix has created a software system that predicts the percentage possibility of a patient’s readmittance to the hospital, something much frowned upon by the makers of the Affordable Care Act, especially if that readmit occurs within 30 days of the original date of discharge. Monetary penalties are now in place if this occurs.
Hogan founded Medalogix in 2009 after owning and operating a home health agency in Manchester, an experience prompting the health care veteran to address the complications constantly arising from medication complications. It’s fairly easy to find oneself under the care of a myriad of doctors who all prescribe medications and usually without any coordination between doctors or among the group of providers. This can spell disaster.
“Keeping patients at home means keeping them out of the hospital, and it is our goal to assist,” Hogan said.
Elliot Holt, president and founder
To say Elliot Holt has spent a lifetime in the unique information management sector of health care, HIM for short, is a bit of an understatement. According to his company’s website, Holt has since the age of 16 dabbled in the HIM world. Once an unenticing acronym for unending stacks of files handled by clerks whose career aspirations were elsewhere, HIM is now a technology-driven tool providers use to collect, manage and use patient information for purposes ranging from compliance with the Electronic Health Record laws to determining the effectiveness of a provider’s ability to detecting health problems in patients.
For the record, Holt was all of 21 years of age in 2000, when he started Medi-Copy with a single copy machine to boot. Now electronic delivery rules the industry as Holt provides Release of Information, Audit Support, HIPAA Accounting of Disclosures, Encrypted Electronic Delivery of all health information and other related services. And to bridge between these technological advances and the distant past that some are still stuck in, Medi-Copy will fully integrate and convert records to an electronic platform.
Holt employs about 18 folks, a small staff considering the numbers of engagements Holt has acquired through the years. Earlier this year he told Nashville Post that he equates his business to “all dreams in the Music City that start small and grow big.”
Kevin Ross, president and founder
It’s been an amazing run for tech-entrepreneur-turned-success Kevin Ross and company. Metova, Ross’s brainchild and 2006 creation, develops custom mobile applications from its Franklin - based offices. In 2011, Metova found itself on the Inc. 500 list, a prestigious honor by anyone’s estimation, making the cut at number 492. Gross revenues for the preceding year (2010) approached $3 million, the reason for the Inc. 500 honor. Ross told Nashville Post then the future was about his company being “debt-free, bootstrapped and proud.”
In September, Ross and company sold a majority stake to an Arkansas–based concern, A4 Solutions, run by U.S. Army retired veteran John Adams. Ross hasn’t divulged the details of the transaction but did keep a “significant equity interest” for himself and assumed president responsibilities. Adams is Metova’s CEO now but operations are still split between Little Rock and Franklin. Changes to those logistics aren’t foreseen. And just to confirm all bases have been covered, with the A4 transaction came a name change. Metova is now Metova Mobile.
Nicholas Holland, CEO and founder
This Nashville-based start-up delivers a self-publishing platform that the company dubs a “Personalized One Page” or POP. Users can create these trackable, secure and “highly engaging” micro-sites with minimal time and money, the company says.
Of note, populr.me also offers an interesting motto: “Richer than email and Faster than a website.”
Via a blogsite (the company also maintains Facebook and Twitter pages but has yet to finalize a formal website), the company says entrepreneurs, salespeople, musicians and professors have used its POPs.
Founder and CEO Nicholas Holland is joined by Daniel Nelson (chief technology officer) and Jared Scheel (chief product officer). Early into populr.me’s existence, the company tweeted that an individual in its beta test had embedded a Starbucks gift card.
Populr.me got its start, in part, via $25,000 in venture capital from Nashville’s Bullpen Ventures. The deal, which closed in late 2011, earned the company a spot at Nashville Entrepreneur Center. In return, Bullpen receives 12 percent equity in the company and NEC gets 15 percent of Bullpen’s share in return for its support role.
Raven Internet Marketing Tools
Patrick Keeble, co-founder and CEO
Founded in Nashville in 2007, Raven provides an online software platform that helps Internet marketing agencies and professionals and their clients make smart choices. The platform ties together search engine optimization, social media and PC and analytics into a central location. By gathering data from numerous inputs, and building tools to help organize and report on that data efficiently,
Raven helps any small business trying to maximize its online marketing efforts. Many of Raven’s customers are digital marketing agencies that have a fast and easy way to offer their services who then help their small-business clients market effectively.
Tim McMullen, founder
The Redpepper blogsite — called The Pepperspective: This Circus of Ideas — nicely summarizes this creative agency with one clever sentence: “The goings on, tomfoolery and assorted treasures that make up our days at Redpepper.” Very nice.
With its headquarters in Nashville and a strong presence in Atlanta, Redpepper shines both with traditional and social marketing, advertising and consumer branding projects. Clients have included CAO, Off Broadway Shoes, John Deere, Kirkland’s and Trevecca Nazarene University. But it might be the company’s Most Righteous Ride game that stands out. The online game appeals to mechanics and other auto industry officials who wear Red Cap uniforms (which are supplied to Ford, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, to name some), thus strengthening the Red Cap brand.
The national media have taken note of the young company’s work, with recognition from the L.A. Times, MSNBC, The Daily Mail and Wired, among others.
Stephen Hau, president and CEO
Shareable Ink, a cloud computing company that transforms handwritten documentation to structured data and predictive analytics, has enjoyed a strong 2012.
In June, the company announced it secured $5 million in financing from VC firm Lemhi Ventures.
Also, the company announced earlier this year it will partner with Web Technologies Partners, Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc., Resource Anesthesia, NextEMR and VoiceHIT, and that it would continue an existing partnership with Allscripts.
In addition, Shareable Ink added Chief Financial Officer Lance Fussachia and Keith R. Slater as vice president of client services.
The company — one of the smallest named in late 2011 to Forbes magazine’s 100 Most Promising Companies list — was one of the first beneficiaries of Tennessee’s TNInvestco, a $146 million statewide pool of funds created in 2009 to fund startups located in, or willing to relocate to, Tennessee.
The first round, totaling $4.5 million, included buy-ins from The Martin Companies, Heritage Group and unnamed angel investors belonging to the Nashville Capital Network.
“We started 2011 with two live customer sites,” Hau told the Post earlier this year. “We ended the year with nearly 60 sites.”
Joe Maxwell, chairman and CEO
It’s been quite the year for Shareholder InSite’s Joe Maxwell and company. In January, Shareholder was born by way of a merger with Boulder, Colo.-based Qval, and a name change from CapControls to Shareholder InSite. In June, it hired a couple of folks for the company’s executive roster, which included a senior vice president and a national account executive. And in August, the company acquired Quist Valuation, the same Colorado company Shareholder partnered with in January, with the help of an Atlanta-based venture fund and its $4.25 million investment.
Not a bad run for the company’s first year, technically speaking. But then again we’re talking about Joe Maxwell, who, in the 1990s, convinced a few friends to join the energetic soul vetting stacks of client statements for proper coding and system input. All to offer an industry financial services (and, specifically, trust departments at first) a third party independent asset valuation tool it didn’t know it needed but later learned it did.
By the way, the last time Maxwell started a company he sold it for $50 million. Stay tuned.
Tod Fetherling, chairman and founder
Downtown Nashville-based Stratasan provides advanced analytics of health care data. The company was previously known as Health Data Source.
Perhaps Stratasan’s most popular product is its Health Service Demand subscription service, which allows users access to Stratasan’s report portfolio with bundles including inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, and physician office visits.
Stratasan has three founders. Chairman Tod Fetherling is the former president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council. Jason Moore serves as chief executive officer, while Brian Dailey is chief technology officer.
Interestingly, at the most recent Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development Conference, Stratasan delivered free on-demand market intelligence to those conference attendees who signed up. Less than 15 minutes after entering their respective hospitals’ names, the attendees received market intelligence packages including a patient origin site map, a patient origin by ZIP code report and market share analysis. Fifty-eight hospitals from 25 states took advantage of the free reports.
“We were definitely happy with the response,” Moore said. “We felt it was a better representation of what we do rather than, for example, providing a complimentary pen.”