Alumni Classmates Scale Up Entrepreneurial Computing Horizons

Monday, February 25, 2019
Jeff Ready

Computer science alumnus Jeff Ready has helped lead Scale Computing to find a niche in edge computing and other high-tech solutions that’s changing the way personal and business computing utilize data centers.

An edge computing company established by a group of Rose-Hulman computer science alumni may be on the edge of something big…very big.

That’s what Scale Computing chief executive officer Jeff Ready informed the Indianapolis Business Journal in a recent front-page story.

Following a record-breaking sales year in 2018 along with nearly $35 million in funding and new partnerships, the Indianapolis-based company with 2,000 customers in 30 countries is expected to roll out a joint product with Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo in late February.

That lucrative deal could double Scale Computing’s annual revenue, now estimated at more than $10 million, and its workforce from 140 employees within 18 months. Also, the company could be ready to go public by mid-2020.

Scale Computing, which was founded in 2007 by a group of Rose-Hulman computer science schoolmates, has found a niche in providing edge, virtualization and hyperconverged tech solutions that’s changing the way personal and business computing utilize data centers. Scale Computing officials have informed IBJ that the upcoming venture with Lenovo will have global applications in retail, manufacturing, logistics/warehousing and healthcare.

Jeff Miller, information technology director for Minnesota grocery, hardware and liquor chain Jerry’s Enterprises Inc., told IBJ: “When I saw what Scale’s system could do, I said, ‘I want it immediately—tomorrow.’ Our system goes down at one of our stores, we lose sales. Scale’s platform is designed so it never shuts off. Lose power, any piece of the hardware goes down, it doesn’t matter.”

Scale Computing earned the 2018 Tech Innovator Award from CRN and has been nominated as Scale-Up of the Year for TechPoint’s Mira Awards, honoring “The Best of Tech in Indiana.”

Ready, a 1996 computer science alumnus, co-founded Scale Computing, and remains as CEO and lead spokesperson of the ownership group. He moved a portion of the company from California’s Silicon Valley to Indianapolis in order to get closer to family, a comfortable Midwest lifestyle and funding opportunities.

Other founders include Scott Loughmiller, a 1996 computer science graduate, as vice president of engineering, who remained in San Francisco; Phil White, a 1998 computer science graduate, as chief technology officer, who lives near Seattle; and Nate Hardt, a former Rose-Hulman student, who is a senior software developer on the west coast.

This group has had two profitable ventures. First, in 1997, came the online advertising network Radiate, which was sold in 2001. Soon thereafter came Corvigo, a company that developed a junk email filter system, sold in 2004.

Don Aquilano, leader of Indianapolis-based Allos Ventures and an early Scale Computing investor, told IBJ, “This is a team with experience starting a half dozen companies and doing so quite successfully. For us, the strength and chemistry of the founding team is paramount. We look for founders who can see around corners and down blind alleys.”

Learn more about this alumni success story and what could be ahead for the company.