Indiana State University Newsroom

Business with ISU ties rated No. 1 most promising company in U.S.

September 18, 2009

A business with multiple ties to the Wabash Valley stands atop Forbes magazine's list of "America's Most Promising Companies."

Vextec Corp., which has a testing laboratory in Terre Haute, provides manufacturing, aerospace and electronics companies with accurate information about the behavior and life expectancy of products and components.

Terre Haute natives and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology graduates Loren Nasser and Robert Tryon co-founded Vextec in 2000. The company became a client business of Terre Haute Innovation Alliance in 2007. The alliance is an economic development and educational initiative based at Indiana State University that includes Rose-Hulman, the city of Terre Haute and Terre Haute Economic Development Corp.

Vextec's Terre Haute lab was established in 2008 adjacent to Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field. The lab performs failure analysis of mechanical and electronic equipment, conducts laboratory testing of mechanical components, and develops computer models to determine the necessary maintenance intervals, expected lifetime and safety of the equipment.

The lab benefits from the expertise and skills of students and faculty at Indiana State and Rose-Hulman. Vextec projects a workforce of 50 once the lab is in full operation.

In announcing its list of 20 businesses, Forbes called Vextec "the shiniest gem we turned up in our hunt for America's most promising young companies." The list is online at and will appear in the Oct. 5 issue of the magazine.

"Vextec wields complex algorithms that predict, with scary accuracy, how and when components will fail--even before they're built," Forbes stated. "That crunching power hastens the design of everything from engine parts to medical devices, in turn slashing research-and-development expenses and even opening doors for small contract manufacturers hungry for lucrative replacement-parts contracts."

During its first year, Vextec landed a $100,000 research grant from the U.S. Air Force to model the performance of turbine engine components made from titanium aluminide. The company has been profitable since that first year of operations and posted $3 million in sales in 2008, according to Forbes.

"The Terre Haute Innovation Alliance congratulates Vextec on being recognized as the most promising young company in the United States," said Steve Witt, president of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. "Vextec's founders saw a need, knew they had the knowledge and skills to meet that need and set out to build a company to help manufacturers become more efficient. That their vision has become a reality shows that American manufacturing has a future. We are proud to have Vextec as a partner."

To be considered for the Forbes list of most promising young companies, businesses had to have been founded within the past 10 years and have annual sales of $25 million or less. The list was developed with the assistance of The Venture Alliance, an Irvine, Calif.-based entity that provides advisory services to early-stage businesses and has developed a rating system for young companies.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or