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Alumni-Led Startups Named Among Indianapolis’ Most Promising Companies

October 31, 2013

Dustin -Sapp

Dustin Sapp,
President/Co-Founder,
TinderBox

Jeff -Ready

Jeff Ready,
CEO/Co-Founder,
Scale Computing

Two Rose-Hulman alumni, who aren’t afraid to take risks, have been cited by Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) for starting Indianapolis’ most promising companies.

Scale Computing, led by Jeff Ready, and TinderBox, started by Dustin Sapp, were among five featured enterprises based on a range of factors including job growth, outside investments, and accolades.

“These firms are finding success in their niches, giving owners and investors hope of big things to come,” states the business publication.

Ready, 39 and a 1996 computer science graduate, launched Scale Computing in 2007 after having startup successes in California’s Silicon Valley. The company landed $43 million in outside funding from 2009 to 2012, had $5 million in revenue in 2010, and has routinely referred to “record” quarterly results. Forbes magazine has twice deemed Scale Computing one of the nation’s “Most Promising Companies.”

Scale Computing’s “data center in a box”—a device which is about the size of a piece of checked luggage—is revolutionizing the cloud networking industry. A company can have all of its networking capabilities for a single, upfront payment that starts at $25,500.

“From a business perspective, it’s a pretty radical change in the way things are done … the response has been fabulous, and we’ve gotten rave reviews,” Ready states in an interview earlier this year.

TinderBox is the third successful startup for Sapp, 34 and a 2000 computer engineering graduate. His first venture, NoInk Communications, was started as an Entrepreneur In Residence at Rose-Hulman Ventures.

Now, Sapp is selling a web-based service that simplifies the creation of sales proposals. The growing list of clients includes Angie’s List and Gannett. TinderBox was listed as one of America’s 100 Brilliant Companies by Entrepreneur.com earlier this year.  

Revenue is on track to triple next year, according to Sapp.

“We don’t have any intention of letting up on the gas over the next couple of years,” he told IBJ.

Sapp and Ready are big proponents of entrepreneur enterprises.

“Every day, every person in our company has the ability to drive our company,” Sapp says. “That sense of making a difference is a big gift.”