Apteryx, Inc. specializes in the development of custom dental imaging software applications for large government, domestic and international dental organizations. They were the first to create digital x-ray hardware agnostic software and have vast expertise in medical and dental imaging, image processing, data encryption and security, database, data conversion and distributed systems. This 22-year-old company moved into their current home in downtown Akron at 313 S. High St. in 2006.

We sat down with Founder and former CEO Kevin Crucs and President Lamar Roberts over lunch at dba (Dante Boccuzzi Akron) in the Northside District to learn more about this downtown business.

How did you get started?

KC: Twenty-two years ago the very first product our company ever wrote was an automated inventory management system for a company that retained us for six months while they vetted the system. During that time, my father was a dentist that was frustrated by an insurance provider that frequently lost or destroyed his x-rays for dental claims. Since my father knew that our company was just sitting around waiting for the vetting results, he said, ďI need something to duplicate or send a copy of these x-rays to the insurance company so they stop destroying my originals.Ē That is when we first started developing x-ray dental product and it just snowballed from there. Now weíre the number one dental imaging software company in the world.

LR: We sell to the Army, Navy, Marines and about 40-45 percent of the 150,000+ dental offices in the country. Most of our business is actually out of town. The software is also written in eight different languages and three years ago the team took the core product and rewrote everything into a Cloud base. Currently, we store over 50 million x-ray images and over 3.5 million patients are managed in our Cloud-based solution.

Talk about the importance of culture in your workplace

KC: We pride ourselves on the longevity of our team. We have staff members that have been with us for 15-20 years with the average employment time of over seven years. At Apteryx, we believe that people are your best resource, so we bring in office massages, have a stocked kitchen and do other things along those lines for our employees. We also have a sabbatical where every seven years you get an extra three weeks off on top of your standard PTO. Benefits like that really help with employee retention and moral.

LR: We are an innovative group as well. Apteryx has amassed more than 40 patents on components of the software.

What amenities in downtown Akron do you see as a benefit?

LR: We did a baseball game last summer which was a lot of fun. Weíve done company dinners as well. Just having the ballpark across from Apteryx is great.

KC: People talk about how challenging it is to get around here. But spend a little time in a bigger city and you see how easy it really is. Akronís infrastructure, being able to get around the city and the position between Cleveland and the Akron-Canton Airports makes it a perfect location to do business from, even if you do most of your business out of the state.

What else would you like to see happen in downtown?

KC: The upcoming residential plans are great, but something that Akron needs to be sensitive to and keep their finger on the pulse of is that all of the people we get to come downtown need things to do. They need places to go to do sports, they need places to go to let off steam and they need places to have fun. I donít want Akron to lose sight of the fact that there is more to keeping talent than just the apartments, building more nightlife is important, too.

The demographic we want to capture is the younger generations because they are the ones that are going to grow up here, start new companies and support new technologies.

Tell us more about recruiting and growth you anticipate

KC: We currently have 25 employees in this facility and will be adding more in the next year. For us to find qualified candidates we reach out to a number of avenues. We use Monster, Craigís List and local colleges. There is a talent pool here and people looking for jobs. We do take people with no experience, because we look for work ethics. Itís not always about work experience with us, itís really about the people are and how they come across.

LR: The talent is good here as is the quality of life and the wages. Our growth is going to be in Akron.

Where does your staff like to go?

LR: When Iím in town from Atlanta, I stay at the Courtyard Marriott, have dinner at dba and drinks at the Speakeasy. Itís nice to have something close by and walkable. The Speakeasy is best Iíve ever been to and Iíve been to about six of them between Atlanta and Washington, DC.

KC: Down by our office thereís so many different restaurant choices. Weíll see them go to Diamond Deli, Pad Thai and places like that. At any time during the week, weíll see them going to different spots, which is great because variety is the spice of life.



 

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