Positioned for growth are four North Bay companies with products and services that fill a need despite the downturn, of perhaps because of it.

Four-employee Aethos Technology in Santa Rosa, founded this year, has Web-enabled digital print management systems in a software-as-a-service model. The service allows digital, and soon offset printers, to be much more productive and allows them to take orders over the Web.

Founder and partner Eric Wold, who developed the software to make his own print shop more efficient, said the system takes small orders and funnels them into large batches, allowing them to be printed at much lower costs.

Aethos won best of show at a recent North Bay Growth and Innovation Forum, and investors are already doing due diligence.


Founded by Santa Rosa businessman Dan Brinker, American TonerServ pursues a double strategy of acquisitions and organic growth through its own sales team. During the last three years it has acquired eight independent, compatible toner cartridge sellers with sales of $1 million to $20 million. American TonerServ provides them with Web-enabled, back-end office services and sales and fulfillment mechanics, freeing their teams up to concentrate on growing their customer base.

The company reported second-quarter revenues of $7.4 million, up from $2.8 million for the same quarter last year, a jump of 166 percent. During the first quarter in 2009 revenues were $6.4 million.


ClairMail in Novato expects to double its staff and customer base within the next 12 months.

Fifty-employee ClairMail's technology allows users of cell phones and other hand-held devices to bypass interactive voice response systems or call centers and directly access account information and make transactions via text messaging.

ClairMail recently announced a record number of new customers and a 200 percent year-over-year revenue increase for the second quarter ending in June.


Santa Rosa-based i2i Systems stands to more than double its revenues and to grow its 10-member staff now that a consortium of health care organizations has launched a state-wide effort to map and manage chronic disease patients in California.

The i2i premier disease-tracking solution is the consortium's system of choice, so a first round of $4.5 million in grants to public health clinics won i2i 33 new clinics overnight.

"Once the second round of funding is complete, our i2iTracks will be in use by most of the public health clinics in California," said co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Janice Nicholson.

There are 180 clinics with about 600 sites in the state. Fifty are already customers for i2i's solution, which tracks the treatment of chronic disease patients.

The i2i system integrates data from vendors such as electronic health record companies, pharmacies and medical testing laboratories so that an ongoing record of past treatment and future needs is developed for each patient.


Submit items for this column to Loralee Stevens at 707-521-4255 or lstevens@busjrnl.com.