Cutting Edge Tech Startup to Build in Martin City
By Diane Krauthamer
Photos courtesy FishTech Labs
Local entrepreneur Gary Fish knows what it means to invest in his community—so he is pioneering a state-of-the-art tech startup, FishTech Labs LLC, right here in Martin City. With an $8 million, 20,000-square-foot facility in the works, Fish plans to provide jobs, supporting local businesses, and most of all “to be the new catalyst for high tech innovation in the area,” he said.
FishTech Labs will be building software and providing services and technology to help enterprises and governments take advantage of the latest internet technologies and
security that are available today, said Fish. The focus of the company’s work will be on educating clients on these products and technologies via a state-of-the-art technology lab–to educate, test, validate, and provide proof of concept (POC’s) for leading edge internet and security technologies—and a customer briefing center for potential customers learn more about technologies. These facilities will utilize emerging structural and mechanical technologies. For instance, the customer briefing areas will use the latest in touch screen, virtual reality, and gesture technologies.“If you have ever seen ‘Minority Report’ or ‘Iron Man’ we will be using futuristic technologies that were designed for those movies and in some cases creating our own,” said Fish.
The new facility will open approximately nine months after they “break ground,” and construction may begin as early as February 2016. The plan is to hire 50 to 60 employees in technology-related fields such as network engineers, software developers, security engineers, and IT project management with some accounting and back office positions.
Gary Fish moved to South Kansas City back in 1987 to pursue a degree in Electronics Technology from Devry University. In1996 he founded FishNet Security and carved out a name for himself as the company made $800 million in revenue with over 800 employees—quickly becoming the largest cyber security integrator in the world when it was sold to the private equity firm Blackstone in 2013. Fish kept busy as he started a cyber security software firm during this time, called FireMon, which had 250 employees and offices in 12 different countries before it was sold to Venture Partners in 2014. After selling both companies, Fish decided to take a year off.
“My goal in that year was to find out if I still had the passion to start another business or if I would be content just golfing, fishing, and traveling. As it turned out I really missed the people and building and running a company so I started to plan my next move,” he said.
Fish needed to develop a new plan that focused on developing technologies in the cyber security industry.
“The advent of the cloud (software and services that run on the Internet instead of personal computers) has changed the way businesses use applications and share information. At FishNet Security we had focused on the ‘old way’ of securing businesses and had been quite successful at it. Fishtech Labs is a chance to ‘reboot’ and start from the very beginning to focus on the way businesses use the internet / cloud today,” he said.
With Fishtech Labs, Gary Fish is hoping to develop these new cutting edge technologies while contributing to the transformation and growth of a revitalizing area.
“We want to be the new catalyst for high tech innovation in this area of Kansas City,” he said, but not at a cost to locals.
Fish said he is encouraging his staff to start reaching out to local community organizations and charities. “As in my past businesses I like to build a culture of ‘giving back’ and we plan to do that in South Kansas City and Martin City,” he said.
“I feel like we can really make a difference in Martin City and am excited to become part of the community.”