Company Built Around Seeing “Heightened Ability” Where Others See Disability Lands Inaugural Clients

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With the help of business incubator Stax DevCorp, ULTRA TESTING took the idea of employing highly functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders as software testers from concept to reality, completing its first successful projects right in the heart of New York City.

A noble idea has become a viable business, as software-testing company ULTRA TESTING is now up and serving its first clients. Launched in 2012 with support from business incubator Stax Development Corporation (Stax DevCorp), the company delivers a suite of high-quality software testing services by employing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Atypical of most companies in this business, which tend to operate offshore, ULTRA operates out of New York City and is unlocking the talents of people with disabilities in the U.S. After running multiple beta tests earlier this year, the company has successfully completed initial engagements for clients ranging from cutting-edge digital agencies to leading enterprise-solution providers.

“There is a tremendous untapped talent pool right here in the U.S.” explains ULTRA co-founder Rajesh Anandan. “Of the 2 million Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders, 85% are not employed. Yet, at least 1/3 of this population are high functioning and can have heightened abilities matching the exact skillset required for software testing—focus, attention to detail, natural pattern recognition ability, intelligence and curiosity."

With a background at MIT, Microsoft, Bain and Company, and UNICEF, Anandan recognized that he needed to gauge the market demand for such a service and develop a business model that would allow the company to scale up fast. “I turned to Stax’s consulting arm because it had experience in the business and technology service sectors,” Anandan recalls. “But I liked that they also had deep knowledge in workforce development, nonprofits and government, invaluable expertise given our focus on creating jobs by building a highly competitive, scalable business that delivers social benefit in addition to profit.”

“When Rajesh approached me with the idea, it instantly made sense,” commented Rafi Musher, founder and CEO of both Stax and StaxDevCorp. “’Doing well by doing good’ has always been a guiding principle for us at Stax, and what Rajesh was planning was a perfect embodiment of that. It can have real impact on workforce development right here in New York City.” Stax helped the new company with key issues such as initial market sizing and segmentation, competitor benchmarking and trend forecasting, “We confirmed that there was a meaningful market there. Seeing this opportunity, we got Stax DevCorp involved to help shape ULTRA’s market offering, line up customers and investors, and get the business up and running.”

The company’s business model, which Anandan developed with his co-founder Art Shectman, a veteran technologist and serial entrepreneur, combines exceptional testers with seasoned neurotypical (i.e. not on the Autism Spectrum) project managers. This pairing ensures a seamless client interface and makes it effortless to utilize ULTRA’s testing services. “We’re in a highly competitive industry,” Anandan noes, “so the only way we’re going to be successful is by delivering consistently superior results for our clients. And we’re unlocking an incredible talent pool to do just that”.

ULTRA TESTING
Founded by two MIT engineers in 2012, ULTRA TESTING is a New York based company that provides a high-quality software testing service. ULTRA’s competitive advantage comes from employing on-shore teams of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, who can have the exact skillset required to be exceptional software testers. ULTRA couples their testers with neurotypical (i.e. not on the Autism Spectrum) project managers who work seamlessly with client teams, making it effortless for clients to use ULTRA TESTING and free up valuable internal resources. For more information, see http://www.ultratesting.us.

Stax DevCorp
Stax Development Corporation (DevCorp) creates new companies and joint ventures to develop innovative solutions that address critical market needs identified by Stax’s strategic consulting practice. Stax DevCorp’s companies are held in two distinct portfolios: the Social Ventures Portfolio (SVP), whose holdings consist of double-bottom-line companies—those that (like ULTRA TESTING) deliver a combination of economic value and social benefit; and the V-Squared portfolio, a combination of new ventures and joint ventures with a profit-maximizing focus. For more information, see http://www.staxdevcorp.com.

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John Smalley
Stax Inc.
+1 (917) 817-2145
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