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Summit Data Communications builds international presence with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth products

Summit Data Communications marks its inception from March of 2006 when “the last of the founders quit their ‘day job’ at Cisco Systems and went all-in at Summit,” says CEO Ron Seide.

Since then, the Akron-based company has shipped more than 1.4 million units of its product and is poised for further growth.

The company produces industrial and medical grade Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules for embedding into mobile devices that operate in challenging environments like factories, warehouses and hospitals. Unlike the “consumer-grade” wireless modules of its competitors, Summit’s modules are hardware and software optimized for optimal connectivity under the most difficult conditions.

More than 70 customers, half of which are in Asia, choose from among seventeen products. Revenues swelled from $7 million in ’07 to $15.2 million last year, a three-year increase of 115 percent. The company’s 2010 percentage growth rankings looked better because they were working off a smaller base, Seide explains.

Summit’s employees have grown from the original five founders to more than 20 full-time equivalents.

“We focus mostly on software developers and technical support people. I estimate we’ll add 6 to 9 people next year. We also employ an extensive number of remote software developers who work out of their homes. We use this flexibility to attract and retain talent that would often be beyond the reach of a small enterprise like ours,” says Seide. 

“We’re 100 percent bootstrapped, which is to say we’re self-funded.”

Source: Ron Seide, Summit Data Communications
Writer: Patrick G. Mahoney
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