By FRED W. WRIGHT Jr.
Three years after selling a company he founded, Marc Blumenthal said he missed watching a company grow from the ground up. "All I've done is build businesses," he said. "I miss that."
So, on Jan. 1, Blumenthal joined 18-month-old software company Intelladon Corp. as chief executive. "My job here is to take this company to the next level and to scale it for growth," he said.
The next level at the Tampa producer of advanced electronic software used in electronic course work and learning management means adding 70 customers in 2003, which would more than triple the 30 now using Intelladon software, Blumenthal said.
In 1985, Blumenthal founded Progressive Business Solutions, a business that grew out of a college senior class project, and spent the next 15 years "building it and selling it, which is a wonderful experience," he said.
"You get up in the morning with a larger-than-life objective and the goal of building a business. That's what gets me charged up. I love . . . making things happen."
In his role as chief executive of Intelladon, Blumenthal said, he will oversee day-to-day operations and approximately 20 employees, as well as expand the company's market nationwide and beyond.
Intelladon sells software to companies that want to build online courses for their employees, often to meet federal or state regulations and certifications. Examples include courses on workplace safety, sexual harassment, employee orientation, software productivity courses and the like. "These courses run on our system and allow hundreds of employees to take a course," he said. "And it tracks the employees and the testing."
Intelladon customers can purchase or lease the software system, with prices ranging from $500 to $7,000 a month, or $9,300 to $120,000 annually, Blumenthal said, depending on the number of employees that will be using the system. While most of its customers have 100 or more employees, Blumenthal said Intelladon will begin marketing to customers with 20 or more employees.
Intelladon's software system "allows managers to see how every employee did. It's very powerful. It doesn't replace every aspect of instructor-led training or the distribution of employee manuals, but it reduces significantly the need for that and delivers in a more effective way," Blumenthal said.
Born and raised in Toms River, N.J., about an hour from Atlantic City, Blumenthal learned about retailing at his father's jewelry store. He said he learned as a boy to be an entrepreneur, at various times running his own landscaping company, selling Christmas trees and marketing jewelry at flea markets. He also worked in his father's store.
Blumenthal started Progressive Software Solutions after graduating from the University of South Florida in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in management information systems. He had spent two years while in college working for IBM in sales and marketing.
When he joined IBM in the 1980s, "It was a time when the PC was pretty new (and) very new within IBM, so I was a young and energetic team member. I decided I really liked the PC," he said. "I got the opportunity at IBM to learn a lot and at the same time to see a tremendous need to market technology services to customers.
"At that time, IBM simply shipped a PC to a customer via UPS," he said. "I got to watch a customer receive that shipment . . . and wonder what to do with it." So, as a senior at USF, Blumenthal wrote a mock business plan for a company designed to provide technology assistance to PC customers "to make the PC productive."
And from that business plan, Blumenthal began Progressive Software Solutions. "It came out of my senior class at USF and my IBM experience.
"It offered the 1985 customer software development and PC networking here in the Tampa Bay area," he said. "Then it grew," with offices in Tampa and Atlanta. When he sold Progressive Software Solutions 15 years later, the company had about 100 employees, he said.
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times
From the AP