Ronald Seide, president and CEO, Summit Data Communications

Andy Winson, CFO, Summit Data Communications

Ronald Seide, president and CEO, Summit Data Communications

FINALIST: Technology

Summit Data Communications President and CEO Ronald Seide launched the company in 2006 with four other former employees of Cisco Systems, including Andy Winson, CFO, Chris Bolinger, director of marketing, and Jim O’Riordan, vice president of technical services. The company has since grown to become a leader in the manufacturing of industrial- and medical-grade wireless modules by optimizing hardware and software design for mobile connectivity in harsh environments.

Summit Data has created valuable employment opportunities in Northeast Ohio. In its six years of existence, the company has grown sevenfold, from five employees to 38; that figure includes several interns from the University of Akron. And in late 2010, the company reach a milestone: 1 million Wi-Fi radios shipped.

Chris Bolinger, director of marketing, Summit Data Communications

Jim O'Riordan, VP of technical services, Summit Data Communications

A challenge Summit Data has faced in building its business has been effectively managing cash flow. The company has built its inventory and funded the developing of new products while relying solely on internal funding, which has been an especially tough challenge because the company has been growing fast – its revenue increased 116 percent over the past three years.

In 2011, Summit Data Communications was named the 13th fastest growing computer hardware company in the United States by Inc. magazine. The company has no outside equity and has managed to reach this level of success without bringing in any outside funding.

Summit Data has demonstrated innovation in the Wi-Fi industry by defining its own grade of wireless and its own niche in the market: industrial-grade and medical-grade Wi-Fi. The company attributes its success to the ruggedness of its Wi-Fi products, which provide secure, reliable wireless connectivity for devices that operate in challenging environments such as factories, hospitals and warehouses. The company employs innovative designs to succeed in those underserved markets.

How to reach:

Summit Data Communications Inc.,