By Dennis Phillips
Two Jamestown businesses will be rewarded for growth and innovation Monday in Niagara Falls.
Irene Dobies, Jamestown Small Business Development Center director, said EMC Fintech and SlickText will be receiving awards from the state's Small Business Development Center.
"We are so excited for them. The state gives 9 awards to companies statewide and two of them are from Chautauqua County," she said.
Eric Corey is the owner of EMC Fintech. His company is being rewarded for its growth. The business produces tooling for the heating-and-cooling industry. Their primary product is roll die tooling used by automotive original equipment and aftermarket manufacturers to produce radiator fins.
"Mr. Corey approached the state Small Business Development Center in Jamestown for help to sustain and grow his newly formed company," Dobies said. "He had been employed for several years by a local manufacturer that served ... the specialty tooling market. That company had desisted due to bankruptcy. Eric, along with a core group of engineers and machinists - with a combined 100 years industry experience - wanted to tap this market niche and prevent their jobs from being exported to Europe."
Dobies said center consultants assisted the principal with a feasibility analysis of various plant and equipment configurations. Also, the center helped with the business plan development and financial strategies. As a result, Corey has acquired a new state-of-the-art electrical discharge machine, additional production equipment and secured needed working capital. The total project of nearly $600,000 has resulted in 10 manufacturing jobs.
SlickText is being awarded for its innovation. The idea for SlickText was born last year when founder Matt Baglia worked for a company that was considering adding text messaging to its marketing mix, said Dobies. After reviewing several providers. Baglia recognized some common flaws among all of them. Each platform was fairly difficult to understand and use. None of them placed emphasis on educating their customers on how to be successful with their product, and all lacked personal customer service.
"Baglia and his partner, Ryan Kinal, realized that if they could create a service without those flaws, there would be an excellent opportunity for a piece of the industry's pie," Dobies said.
A few months after the initial launch, the business added a salesperson. After a solid cash flow was secured, marketing funds were then applied to email, print, paid search engine ads and search engine optimization. There are three officers for the company, who all share responsibilities to keep the business running smoothly. Dobies said there will be a need for sales and customer support staff within the next year.
Every day the employees at SlickText build new relationships and learn about new issues that their technology can address. One of the most important projects is an application programming interface. This will allow the SlickText platform to plug into third-party systems giving organizations like doctor's offices and other health care networks the ability to send tailored text message alerts and reminders to their patients.