The idea that an economic downturn is a good time to start a company has certainly worked out for Jason Owen (’10 FEMBA). Amped Wireless, the company he conceived while still at UCLA Anderson, landed the No. 16 spot on the 2013 Inc. 5000 list. The company was also No. 1 in the computer hardware category and No. 4 in the top California-based companies.
“The business plan was created in Business Plan Development class with [Prof.] Scheinrock,” Owen says. “I was actually forced to start the company, because I was let go at my existing job and I had just graduated as a FEMBA, purchased a home and got engaged. If you remember, the economy was in pretty bad shape and finding a job would be difficult.”
Based in China Hills, Calif., the long-range wireless consumer and business communication products company saw 11,068 percent growth from 2009 to 2012 and went from one employee—Owen—to 26.
Besides learning the intricacies of business planning, Owen says the FEMBA program were key to his, and the company’s, growth. “Without the knowledge I learned and connections made at Anderson, as well as lessons from the GAP program, we would not have been able to get to where we are today,” he says.
And, while he says making the Inc. list is great validation the company is headed in the right direction and a boost to morale among employees and partners, he won’t be resting on the laurel. “We don’t put too much weight on the actual award or any other award, for that matter,” he says. “We’re pretty focused on growing the business and that’s more of the priority than awards and accolades.”
Head to Amped Wireless' homepage for more information.