Sera White knows the challenges of organizing and translating mountains of data into something that makes sense to stakeholders and the general public. Sera spent 16 years as a Data Scientist at Idaho National Labs (INL), presenting scientific research in a consumable manner.
In 2015, she left INL to partner with her husband and software architect, Greg Bosen, to open Gravis Tech. Gravis Tech is a data communications firm that uses data analytics and visualization to bring a more in-depth understanding to otherwise tricky concepts.
Today data matters in a big way, but the data is only as good as our ability to understand it. Gravis Tech goes beyond its client’s expectations to create bold products that share complex data and technical information in new and innovative ways.
Such products include interactive Periodic Tables for STEM education, mobile wayfinding maps for large campuses (think Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map), and readable data presentations for portals accessed by government policymakers.
Going Big in a Small Town
Shortly after start-up, Gravis Tech moved their business from Idaho Falls to Wallace, ID, population 946. Sera and Greg fell in love with the Silver Valley area and were determined to be impactful in their professional and local communities.
Gravis Tech worked with PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center arm of SBA) to become classified as a Women-Owned and HUB-zone small business. These certifications allow the company to compete for government dollars, bringing high visibility work and jobs to the region. They are proud of their ability to make meaningful contributions to three of the nation’s Department of Energy National Laboratories.
Defined as much by what they give as what they do, Gravis Tech works hard to serve organizations and initiatives that promote education, support community development, and create real living wage jobs in the area.
Looking for Help – Landing at the NIC SBDC
As it turns out, building community relationships has a great return on investment, especially when considering time spent with their SBDC coach at the North Idaho College.
“When we first opened our business, we immediately looked to see what resources were freely available to us to help us succeed,” said Sera. She credits regular coaching at the North Idaho Small Business Development Center for the ability to grow the business and identify their ideal clients strategically.
As the business took off, Sera and Greg found that it was easy to say ‘yes’ to every job. It’s common for companies to equate growth with success. But it was through monthly coaching sessions “we were able to step back and realize that not every job was best suited to our capabilities,” says Sera. “We suffered a bit from understanding where we should be applying our business development efforts.
Ultimately, we leaned into our past performance and recognized we had individual expertise in technical communications in the Energy and Environment sectors. Because we are so knowledgeable in those areas, it’s easy to succeed. So, leaning into our strengths rather than trying to build new ones is what helped us in the long run.”
“Our biggest change has been the conversion of thinking in terms of gross profit vs. net profit. It took a lot of convincing to change our minds that it’s not just a linear relationship. It all comes down to how effectively you run your bottom line.”
Changes made as business leaders have enabled them to grow their business from two full-time employees to six. This led to a revenue increase of 400%.
Sera and Greg have a passion for the bits and bytes of the technical work they do. Gravis Tech was created with a vision of ‘doing work that matters’. Their fine-tuned marketing strategy helps them reach and work with clients every day that are changing the future of how the world uses technology, energy and natural resources.
They have cultivated a reputation for working with specialized firms in the STEM sector. In turn, such partnerships have allowed Gravis Tech to go beyond bringing dollars and talent to their small community to making a profound impact on the next generation of talent.