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2011 Forty Under 40: Jeff Ready

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About me...
Jeff Ready
CEO
Scale Computing Inc.
36
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
TripIt
Shazam
MotionX
DoodleJump
Favorite stuff:
Miami Dolphins; Colts; Guinness; cheeseburgers; video games
 

In 1995, Jeff Ready started his first technology company as a senior at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute. He has never stopped.

His latest venture, 2-year-old Scale Computing Inc., builds data-storage gear. “We make a technology product that’s bought by technology people and used in technology places,” he said.

The company now has more than 1,200 systems in the field and more than 250 customers, Ready said. Scale already has 65 employees and expects to hire another 60 in 2011.

Perhaps as important, the company has raised $31 million, including a $2 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. that allowed Ready to establish Scale here rather than in Silicon Valley, where the money typically is found.

He hopes that starts a trend that can make Indianapolis a technology hub.

“Data storage is now the single largest market in all of computing technology,” Ready said. “It’s bigger than the server market; it’s bigger than the networking market. To have a company that I hope continues to grow at this explosive rate here in Indiana creates the opportunity to spearhead a change in the overall economy of the state. As somebody who’s from Indiana, I would love to see that happen.”

Ready’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the company’s offices. He speaks at colleges and high schools around Indiana about starting companies, and Scale has created an entrepreneurship academy to teach college students and others—including its employees—how to start their own businesses.

“It may be a little counterintuitive that you would train your employees in how to go start their own company, since they might actually go do that,” Ready said. “But that’s kind of what I hope happens. I don’t want to lose my best employees, but if they are going to walk out the door, I would certainly love to hear they’re going to start their own company, much more than going to work for somebody else.”•

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