Thin Air Software is Re-launched with New President

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Thin Air Software Inc., a Wauwatosa-based technology solutions company, has re-launched itself into the market with the addition of an experienced business strategist coming aboard as president and principal.

Kelley Starr was named the company’s president after serving on its advisory board for about a year and a half. He joins the leadership team of Geoff Bastow, founder and chief executive officer, and Paula Erickson, chief technology officer.

Starr previously served in executive management roles for Malvern, Pa.-based Ikon Office Solutions Inc. in the company’s technology solutions division. He later started his own company, Venture Out, which offered business strategies to growth-oriented companies.

Thin Air develops enterprise-class, technology-enabled business services, typically for companies with between $10 million and $100 million in revenue, Bastow said. The company looks to partner with organizations that have a deep domain expertise and the need for an e-business application that could double and possibly triple its revenue.

Bastow originally introduced Thin Air into the marketplace in 1998 as a technology company that specialized in e-business solutions.

After working with Milwaukee-based M&I Mortgage Corp. to create the technology behind Cedarburg-based Mortgagebot LLC, a provider of Internet-based lending solutions for the mortgage industry, Thin Air and Mortgagebot merged in 2001. Bastow and most of his staff joined Mortgagebot but kept Thin Air as a separate, dormant company, he said.

"We did not anticipate being acquired, but it was a great opportunity and a well-defined time frame to work with Mortgagebot," Bastow said.

Erickson was the first employee at Thin Air in 1998 and joined Bastow at Mortgagebot in 2001.

Bastow and Erickson left Mortgagebot in 2004 to focus on Thin Air Software once more. Starr joined the company and purchased equity in it in January 2006.

Bastow and Starr declined to disclose the investment each has made into the company.

"We are putting money into expanding and growth," Starr said. "We see a high demand for what we are doing."

Thin Air hopes to offer the same technology-enabled business services that it offered M&I to launch Mortgagebot, Bastow said.

"We are getting the company back to the focus of working with organizations with a domain expertise but a lack of bandwidth or the skill set to bring (an e-business) product to the market," Bastow said.

Thin Air has the ability to create solutions for customers where back-office solutions are brought to the front and online so that customers can be involved in the process, Starr said.

"We need partners with domain expertise and want to show them how they can leverage their technology to scale their business," Bastow said.

"If properly executed, businesses can grow their margin," Bastow said. "The Internet provides a communication framework."

With Bastow’s technical and entrepreneurial expertise, Erickson’s technical knowledge and Starr’s track record in proven models for business strategy, Thin Air hopes to improve business processes and increase revenue for companies across the globe, Bastow and Starr said.

A current customer of Thin Air is Madison-based INI Global Inc., a telecommunications consulting company that specializes in telecom expense management, Bastow said.

"INI’s current system does not provide value and transparency that is beneficial to the customer and does not have the scale to grow the business dramatically," Bastow said. "We can provide the transparency for customers in the business process and believe that we can create a valuable relationship with INI."

Thin Air has six employees, including the principals. The company recently expanded its office space located at the Milwaukee County Research Park to accommodate its recent and future growth, Bastow said.

"We are not focused on the vertical markets," Bastow said. "We want to take traditional services businesses and apply technology to bring the companies to new markets. We can build out for them technologically and strategically."

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