Student Startup, ProductivityNet, Nets $250,000 in Venture Funding
Company is comprised entirely of
Troy, N.Y. — ProductivityNet, Inc., a company run by a
foursome of 20-somethings, received $250,000 in venture funding
from iDeal Partners, an Albany-based investment group. In
addition to the funding, iDeal has agreed to finance capital
equipment, provide strategic corporate advice and management,
and assist with identifying and facilitating potential
All but two of the company’s 18 full-time employees are
undergrads at Rensselaer. In May, most of those students will
graduate. In June, the company will graduate to a larger office
space in downtown Troy, N.Y.
Based in Rensselaer’s on-campus Business Incubator,
ProductivityNet is the first company run by Rensselaer
undergraduates to obtain such a lucrative venture capital
But in this conservative economic climate, why is a student
startup attracting so much financial attention?
When it debuts in June, ProductivityNet’s first product,
intranet Management Solution (iMS), will enable a systems
administrator to manage the company’s network over the Web or
by using any wireless device. This will be the first product of
its kind in the marketplace.
“It’s a mobile toolbox for any network systems administrator,”
says Vinny Pasceri ’01, 21-year-old founder and CEO of
ProductivityNet. “Using a Palm Pilot, cell phone, pager, or
laptop, one person can manage, control, and monitor their
company’s network environment wherever they happen to be in the
Microsoft, IBM, and Hewlett Packard tout similar products, but
they are geared for enterprise companies, cost $100,000 or
more, and do not have wireless capability. ProductivityNet’s
iMS will sell for substantially less than the competition and
is targeted for small to medium-sized businesses.
“This product will allow a small business to dramatically
stretch its IT budget,” says Mike McCutcheon ’01, Chief
Technology Officer. “Its flexibility is the key. Using our
system, a network administrator can be sitting on the beach
with his girlfriend, get paged that there is a network problem,
then log in and correct it using his cell phone.”
iMS Version 1.1 will handle Windows NT and PalmOS platforms.
Forthcoming upgrades will accommodate LINUX, BSD, SOLARIS,
NT/2000 among others, and be fully compatible with other
management products on the market.
The student-run company has received glowing endorsements from
area high-tech business people, including John Cavalier,
co-chairman of MapInfo Corporation. Cavalier has agreed to
become ProductivityNet’s chairman of the board.
“The two seniors from Rensselaer who founded ProductivityNet,
Vinny Pasceri and Jim Kazukietas, have a proven business model
and an innovative solution for allowing desk-bound IT
professionals and network administrators to apply wireless
technology to manage their networks remotely,” says Cavalier.
“They have identified a unique niche in the IT world.”
Founded in 1999 by Pasceri and Jim Kazukietas ’01 during their
sophomore year at Rensselaer, ProductivityNet occupied a vacant
shower stall in the Institute’s on-campus business incubator.
In 2000, ProductivityNet won the $25,000 Rensselaer/Lucent
Business Plan Competition, which is sponsored annually by the
Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, in
Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management and Technology.
ProductivityNet was incorporated in February 2001.
The management team includes: Kazukietas, chief operating
officer and management major; McCutcheon, chief technology
officer, and computer science major; and Jon Kloptosky ’01,
chief client architect and computer science major.
For more information, contact ProductivityNet at:
Vinny Pasceri / firstname.lastname@example.org or James Kazukietas
Contact: Megan Galbraith
Phone: (518) 276-6531