Apr 1, 2013

Life after Epic: Alumni put skills learned to use in new ventures

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Judy Newman

After Epic, then what?

For a growing number of alumni of the Verona-based electronic medical records development company, the answer is: Stay in Madison and start your own company.

Not only is Epic Systems Corp. rapidly growing — at nearly 6,400 employees, up about 1,000 from a year ago — but it is indirectly contributing to the Madison area’s entrepreneurial nexus.

Five of the companies launched by former Epic employees in the past three years have created a total of nearly 400 jobs.

“That’s very impressive when you think about it,” said Ald. Scott Resnick, 8th District, a member of the city Economic Development Committee. “It’s a number that’s only growing.”

Some ex-Epic staffers have found there’s a market in serving as a consultant to Epic’s client hospitals. Others have gone off in different directions, starting companies that offer services such as organizing athletic events for children, creating a social calendar for friends to plan activities together, and setting up a pet licensing system.

The Epic alums are helping to spread a startup fever in the area. They also are fueling a cluster of health information technology businesses in Madison, one of which recently won a nationwide apps competition and participated in a health IT accelerator program.

Is all of this enough to become the city’s new economic engine? Resnick thinks so.

“Dell is to Austin what Epic could be to Madison,” said Resnick, vice president of Hardin Design & Development and co-founder of Capital Entrepreneurs, a support group for leaders of young companies. “Dell is located in Round Rock, Texas, 20 minutes outside of Austin, and was one of the leaders in Austin’s startup renaissance. Hopefully, Epic can do the same here.”

At least five Madison companies in the health IT field, established in the past three years, were founded by former Epic employees:

  • Nordic Consulting
  • Vonlay
  • BlueTree Network
  • CenterX
  • Moxe Health

Read the full article.