New Haven Biz-September 2021

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18 n e w h a v e n B I Z | S e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 1 | n e w h a v e n b i z . c o m T e c h 2 5 A s an IT consultant in Stamford, Raj Jalan confronted a frustrating reality. Whatever task his clients had hired him to perform, his first job was to unravel the maze of hardware and soware running on the system. In case aer case, the client had lost track of their own IT system. ere had to be a better way. And the soware he developed became that answer — Device 42. Why Device 42? According to the firm's website, "In the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Doug- las Adams, the 'Answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything' is 42. We named the company as such: A single source of truth for everything IT & Cloud." What followed from Jalan's initial soware is a classic tale of bootstrap success. He found his clients were willing to pay to discover what amounts to a map of their own IT system. e client base grew. e soware became more sophisticated. en, in a bit of New Haven entre- preneurial magic, Jalan met Dr. Stephen Shwartz at the Grove coworking space. at was 2012. Shwartz, a serial entrepreneur and author of three books on artificial intelli- gence, recognized Jalan was on to something and came aboard as co-founder. Some seed money from Connecticut In- novations and other small investors helped Jalan and Schwartz expand Device 42 into a multifaceted soware that works on its own to discover all of the assets on a network. A round of funding in 2019 brought in $34 million to supercharge growth, which included a partnership with Risk Based Security's VulnDB. at deal added soware vulnerability detection to Device 42's product line. In 2020, Device 42 acquired ArrayIQ and its storage discovery capabilities. Today, Device 42 is serving 1,000 clients in 60 countries from Goldman Sachs and Harvard Medical School to Mercedes-Benz and Verizon. It has 200 corporate partners. Jalan explains Device 42 has three pillars of value: modernization, IT service delivery and audit/compliance. Its sweet spot is enterprises with more than 500 employees. e rush to cloud storage has put the focus on Device 42's facility for easing the headaches of migration, but the recent SolarWinds soware hack has highlighted the company's ability to identify all soware on a network and allow for quicker remediation. Jalan says it's too early to think about an IPO or some sort of M&A deal, but he acknowledges that day will come soon enough. Device 42 is in growth mode, he explains, and his immediate challenge is to assure corporate culture values are maintained. "We're a new company every six months," he says, pointing to recent hiring that has driven the firm's headcount to 125. e development team is mostly from Connecticut, he explains, but the firm has looked to Boston to fill many IT jobs. Jalan says New Haven "is a pretty happening town" with projects like e District adding to the world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem that is an asset to all corporate citizens. n Device 42 helps companies map out their IT systems I t's been a quarter-century, but Charlie O'Connell vividly recalls one particularly difficult day at football practice. It could have cost O'Connell his life. Instead, it changed his life. O'Connell was a young defensive back and special teams player on a pretty good University of Pennsylvania team. He had managed his Type 1 diabetes throughout his high school football career but preparing for an Ivy League season was going to be a tougher go. en one aernoon, it was a no- go. He found himself having what can euphemistically be called a glucose incident and none of the team's trainers knew what to do to help him. It all worked out. O'Connell went on to play football on a Penn team that won an Ivy League championship in 1998. He also was on the track team and won an Ivy javelin championship in 2001. He then went on to found Fitscript, a firm that specializes in understanding the connection between diabetes and exercise. Surrounded by an unusual mix of gym equipment and studio microphones, O'Connell describes his journey to make sure others would not be as unprepared as he and the Penn trainers had been. Aer college, he started networking with doctors in his native New Haven and looking for referrals from Bolton's Fitness. He smiles as he recalls a doctor giving her husband an ultimatum: Get your Type 2 diabetes under control or else. With O'Connell's guidance, the man lost 50 pounds and his critical AIC test score dipped below six. A score below seven means a person has their diabetes under control. From there, Fitscript's growth was slow but steady. ree rounds of funding secured $6.1 million. Fitscript's YouTube videos have drawn millions of views. ere was a trial with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. en the pandemic hit and what had been a rosy outlook turned dark. "We had to lay off 75 percent of our staff," O'Connell recalls. A funding round seeking $10 million to expand Fitscript's reach into the health plan market was stopped. Now things are starting to look up again. His crew of eight is back producing Glucose Zone-branded videos that seemingly have an answer for every question. For people with Type 1 diabetes, Glucose Zone provides real-time digital exercise guidance and support from certified coaches during and aer exercise. O'Connell points out some exercises raise blood sugar while others lower it, a lesson he hadn't learned yet at Penn. For people with Type 2 diabetes, the aim of Glucose Zone is to provide real-time digital exercise therapy to help lower A1C levels and aid with weight loss. And for those with pre-diabetes, Glucose Zone exercise therapy is designed to help prevent the progression of diabetes. ere are programs for seniors and those with special needs. In all, there are more than 300 videos. All are produced in-house, O'Connell says with obvious pride. Fitscript has individual clients in 20 countries with strong pockets in India and Saudi Arabia. But the future lies in plugging in to health plans. O'Connell is ready for the challenge. n Fitscript provides real-time guidance, therapy to diabetes patients By Norm Bell At a glance Company: Device 42 Inc. Industry: Information technology Top Executive: Raj Jalan, CEO HQ: 600 Saw Mill Road, West Haven No. of Employees: 125 Company Website: https:// Phone Number: 844-424-2422 Raj Jalan, CEO The Fitscript team (from left to right ): Cluet Blair, Daisy Williams, Jaime Colon, CEO Charles O'Connell, Justin Emmans, Lauren Ventrella and Lauren Szalkawiecz. At a glance Company: Fitscript LLC Industry: Health tech Top Executive: Charlie O'Connell, Founder & CEO HQ: 5 Science Park, New Haven No. of Employees: 8 Company Website: https:// Phone Number: 203-677-0969 By Norm Bell Charlie O'Connell, Founder & CEO

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