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Rochester Top 100: Firm designs a measured approach to growth

Rochester Business Journal
October 18, 2013

Integre Technologies LLC is a well-kept secret in the Rochester area.
 
The Perinton-based product and design services company works on products that often cannot be disclosed to the public.
 
"We can't often tell people what we do," said James Mooney, director of sales and marketing. "Our customers don't allow us to say that we participated on a lot of the projects. We're contractually limited to what we can share. (However,) it's very exciting to know we've had a part in a lot of these products."
 
Integre was founded in 2002 with five managing partners. Currently it has three partners and 14 employees. Revenue has grown 10 percent in the last year, and next year the company expects the same amount of growth.
 
The company specializes in board designs, examples of which are vision to power boards.
 
A product segment that accounts for less than 5 percent growth, electronic design, is also a component of the business-one the partners hope to grow in the next few years.
 
The range of clientele across all segments of the business includes local defense operations as well as international customers developing technologies that have not been brought to market in the United States yet.
 
Examples of products the company works on are microchips for aviation and aerospace applications or commercial items such as scanners and medical imaging devices.
 
The company's work on the defense side is especially fulfilling, said Mark Blejwas, managing partner, because the products involved often are deployed by the U.S. military, and people's lives depend on them.
 
The pace of the technology industry is both welcome and a challenge.
 
"It's very exciting in the services business that we are working on products that are probably two years before it reaches the market," Mooney says. "We're seeing technology well in advance of everyone."
 
The company insists on honesty with customers about what its services can do for their products, officials said. In an industry where customers have high expectations for problem solving, brutal honesty has been most effective for Integre.
 
"A lot is expected of us to all of a sudden figure it out and be magicians," Blejwas said. "No matter how much you tell them the risk of what we are going to try to do, the expectation is already there-and sometimes if you do really well, now that's the standard.
 
"A lot of times they'll say, 'Haven't you done this before?' and that's when we say, 'Yes, that's how we know there will be problems.'"
 
Approximately 80 percent of Integre's business is outside Upstate New York.
 
What saved the business during the economic downturn was strict fiscal awareness.
 
"We run very conservatively," Blejwas said. "We don't spend money we don't have to, so we don't grow too quickly; we try to stay steady. We stay out of debt, we stay healthy, and that's not easy to do. But what we decided to do a few years ago, rather than lay off a few people, was to diversify."
 
Even if customers are unfamiliar with the type of work Integre does, they can figure out one aspect of the business pretty quickly.
 
"That's where the Integre name came from-it's from integrity," Mooney said. "The thing I find surprising is how big this industry is but how small it really is. People know people, and that's why it's so important for our reputation (to do) the job well, because even though it's a whole worldwide economy, it's so closely connected."
 
Despite market conditions, the company is still focused on doing the right thing.
 
"That integrity gives you a lot of armor. It gives you a lot of protection against things you wouldn't even think of," Blejwas said. "You live a simpler life."
 
With an engineering mind, Blejwas applies his logical and technical skills to owning a business.
 
 It is helpful to be able to identify problems and to analyze business moves, but for Blejwas, it is about balancing logic and risk to be successful.
 
"The downside of having the engineering mind is you probably should take more risk than you are," Blejwas said. "Sometimes you're better off not knowing what some of the problems are and just jumping in there; you kind of need both."

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. This year's Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 6. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

Integre Technologies LLC
Electronic design services company with a focus on ASIC/FPGA designs.
Founded: 2002
2012 ranking: 86
Top executive: Mark Blejwas and Fred Rakvica, managing partners
Employees: 14
Location: Perinton
Website: integretek.com

10/18/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.
 


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