SlidePath, a Dublin firm specialising in digital image and data management, is bucking the wider trend with plans to create new jobs in the coming months.
Acquired earlier this year in a e3.7 million deal with Genetix, a British cell imaging and analysis firm, SlidePath recently moved to a new state-of-the-art facility in Santry.Its founders Dr. Seán Costello and Dr. Dónal O'Shea, who continue to lead the firm, have set ambitious five-year growth targets. Already, they are preparing to recruit seven new staff to add to the company's twenty-strong workforce.
A spin-out of Dublin City University, SlidePath develops software for digital image management. Its technology is aimed at clinicians, scientists and educators.
It uses a web-based, modular platform to allow multiple users to share and analyse high-resolution images, together with associated data from external sources.
"The technology enables users to work more efficiently together, making it possible to share images and facilitating collaboration between institutions worldwide," said Costello.
SlidePath has 60 clients in ten countries, including Britain, France, Germany, Australia and the US. Despite this, the company had some difficulty securing funding for early-stage growth.
In the beginning, funding for the venture came from the founders' family and friends. SlidePath also sought to generate revenues itself, by offering technical and consultancy services.
"Like many start-up companies, we had plenty of ideas for innovation, but lacked the funds to 'back every horse'. This forced us to be very selective and focus on obtaining maximum value from the resources we had to hand in all aspects of our business. It is a habit that has served us well," said Costello.
SlidePath's acquisition by Genetix has given the company further access to resources to enable the next stage of its development.
"There is much excitement in being able to utilise the vast resources of what is a cash-rich company to drive our business plan forward," said Costello.
He advised other entrepreneurs to think long-term at start-up stage, adopting a strategic approach to growth planning from the outset.
"Avoid growing pains by properly pacing development and have the foresight and planning in place to accommodate scaling-up," he said.