What would make Interfaceware, a Toronto healthcare IT company participating in a University City Science Center accelerator, stay in Philadelphia?
Customers, said VP of Sales Toni Skokovic. Unlike a startup fresh out of an accelerator, Interfaceware is a post-profit company, so funding isn’t an important factor in the decision to open an office in Philadelphia.
“We’re looking for business growth,” he said, but he added that tax incentives wouldn’t hurt, either. The company already has more than 300 U.S. clients, Skokovic said.
Interfaceware is one of 11 Canadian healthcare IT companies that are participating in a three-to-six month accelerator at the Science Center run in part by the Canadian Consulate General. Several of these companies, half of which are wrapping up their tenure in Philadelphia, demoed at the Science Center last week.
Interfaceware, which sells software for clinical systems companies, outpatient care facilities and small to medium sized hospitals, arrived in Philadelphia in September and is in the process of hiring its first U.S. employee. It’ll be a sales hire.
“In order to be successful [in the U.S.], we need a local presence,” said Skokovic, who said the company is considering opening an office in Philadelphia to “anchor its U.S. presence,” which will focus on selling to the East Coast, from Maine to Florida, and the South.
As for the other companies, out of the six that will finish the accelerator at the end of the month, two are considering staying, according to a spokesman. Those two companies, Memotext and Pulseinfo Frame, have been successful in finding local clients. Memotext recently signed “a large deal locally,” said Amy Larrimore, a mentor in the accelerator, and Pulseinfo Frame is in talks with local offices of one national and one regional nonprofit.
The U.S. job creation has been in the “single digits,” said Vincent Finn, the Canadian Consulate’s Trade Commissioner of Life Sciences & Health IT, but said that the accelerator is still in an early stage. It will have two more cycles after these first two.
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