Colorado Companies to Watch spotlight: Sophono Inc.
Snapshot: Boulder-based Sophono produces bone-anchored hearing devices for adults and children who suffer from single-sided hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss.
Leadership: James Kasic has been CEO and president since the company’s founding in 2010.
Work force: Sophono ended 2011 with 16 employees and expects to expand to 24 through this year.
Pivotal moments: With the purchase of the product’s German manufacturer, Otomag GmbH, in 2010, the company went from distributor to manufacturer of the products. It also was decided Sophono could produce more product at a higher quality in Colorado. Putting together sufficient funding was another pivotal point, as it enabled Sophono to make key hires, expand international business, and submit and receive marketing clearance from the FDA in the U.S.
Competitive Edge: The company’s bone-anchored hearing device has tremendous appeal because the external audio processor is affixed to an internal implant magnetically. Rival products connect by attaching the processor to a permanent, protruding abutment. This requires a more complicated surgery, is cosmetically unattractive, and has post-surgical issues resulting in abnormally high complication and implant removal rates – drawbacks that are eliminated by the Sophono Alpha 1 System.
Growth curve: Sophono’s revenues skyrocketed 3,108 percent in 2011, and the company expects sales to triple this year.
Marketing: Demand for the Sophono Alpha 1 has been so brisk that the company has only been able to service the clients who have contacted the company directly about the system. Sophono has added new sales reps to keep up with demand and to mine new business territories.