Decision Pace looks at downtown or university sites

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM EDT

By Dan Miner, Business First Reporter

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Decision Pace looks at downtown or university sites

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM EDT

A local startup tech company plans to move out of its incubator space and into a nearby office in downtown Buffalo, while expanding its employee base from a handful to around 50 in three years.

Decision Pace's current home is Z80 Labs, the tech incubator in the first floor of The Buffalo News building.

But last week's announcement that the company has raised $1 million in venture capital from a series of investors paves the way for its rapid growth, allowing the company to hire more developers and a sales team that will be responsible for its growth.

"It's time to market and grow," said Jay Moeller, the Decision Pace chief executive officer who also co-founded the company in 2009 with Alan Lash. "We want to get everything in place for this super growth in the first year."

The company is considering its options in the downtown corridor and recently looked at a space on Main Street. But an intriguing possibility -- the state's recently announced "Start-Up NY" program that could eliminate all taxes for new companies on or near college campuses -- has presented itself.

"It sounds too good to be true, but if it is true, we'd like to be a part of it," said Robin Bronstein, the company's chief financial officer and vice president of business development. "I think we are the type of business that they are trying to attract...These are all net new jobs, and they're high-paying jobs, too."

Moeller, the co-founder, said Decision Pace has gained quick traction because its model essentially replaces the old way businesses developed new software for their companies, a process that has traditionally involved the expensive process of hiring consultants, developers, information technology gurus and content management firms.

Decision Pace essentially offers a web-based tool that allows companies to do that work themselves, and makes it simple enough so that people who aren't computer experts can use it.

"We cut out the whole programming exercise, cut out the software, put it in the hands of the people and they can build things very fast," Moeller said.

The company's business plan calls for it to expand from six employees to 20 by this time next year, to 33 employees the year after that, and to 52 by summer 2016.

Decision Pace's trajectory almost aligns with the vision for Z80, which was founded nearly a year ago by Jordan Levy and Ronald Schreiber, co-founders of Softbank Capital, and has also received support from the state of New York, The Buffalo News, Campus Labs, PC Business Solutions and Synacor Inc.

The investment "represents a huge step toward building a successful, technology-focused ecosystem in Buffalo, which will in turn attract and keep elite talent in the area," Levy said in last week's news release. "Z80 Labs is proud to support the growth opportunity ahead for Decision Pace as they continue to develop their products and position in the marketplace."

Z80, which is nearing its one-year anniversary, seeks to incubate young tech companies with the hopes that they graduate into downtown Buffalo. Others companies sited there include GradFly, CrowdBouncer, CoachMePlus and Sale Diem.

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