Software and Small Biz Updates and Small Business

Software firm eImagine grows on military contracts

October 24, 2009

eImagine

Address: 6081 E. 82nd St., Suite 110

Phone: 577-9958

E-mail: info@thinketg.com

Web site:
thinkETG.com

Founded:
1998

Founder:
Joel Russell

Owner:
Joel Russell

Service/product: software development

Employees:
25

Revenue: $3.9 million

Date of first profile: Jun. 12, 2006

From 2006 to 2008, eImagine, a software developer, saw a 218-percent increase in revenue. Joel Russell, president and founder, said that boom in business is due in large part to work in the public sector.

“We looked at our business and decided we needed to partner with bigger companies to grow,” Russell said.

So eImagine did, by joining with companies like CACI Inc., BCP Int’l. Ltd. and Perot Systems, all based in Washington, D.C. That led to rapid growth. In 2007, eImagine became the lead technical team on a project with the U.S. Army.

Still, Russell said he would like for the company to win its own government contract instead of always relying on a partnership.

“It’s difficult as a small business [to win a contract],” Russell said. “The stars kind of have to align.”

The company also wants to add commercial work, especially in its home state.

“We’re an Indiana company,” Russell said. “We’re trying to grow here in Indiana. As opposed to some of the companies that have grown locally and expanded, we went national and now we’re trying to bring it back local.”

Russell said one of the keys to increasing his business in Indiana is bringing more companies to the state.

eImagine does have Hoosier clients, such as the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana Better Business Bureau and Indiana Youth Soccer, but Russell wants more projects in the private sector. Toward that end, Russell added an employee to focus on commercial business development in September.

In addition to programming software for clients, the company now resells hardware and software and is developing its own products through Microsoft Dynamics, which they hope will draw in more clients.

eImagine last summer was named one of the 50 recipients of the “Indiana Companies to Watch” by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Its success has kept the former investment banker turned small-business owner from regretting his decision to leave Wall Street.

“For me, the greatest thing as an owner is to see the growth in human capital,” Russell said. “To see staff come in and get better, that’s really rewarding for me. To create the jobs and see people excel in them, that’s what I like.”•

—Brock Benefiel

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