He creates mobile and Web products for startups, Fortune 50 firms

MICHAEL HINKELMAN / DAILY NEWS STAFF Chris Cera is the founder of Arcweb, an Old City company that creates workflow-boosting software for a number of clients, including Comcast and Capital One.
MICHAEL HINKELMAN / DAILY NEWS STAFF Chris Cera is the founder of Arcweb, an Old City company that creates workflow-boosting software for a number of clients, including Comcast and Capital One.
Posted: November 22, 2013

C HRISTOPHER CERA, 35, of Bella Vista, is founder and chief technology officer of Arcweb. The firm, which started in 2011, operates out of the co-working space Indy Hall in Old City. It builds workflow-, logistics- and operations-software products that streamline business processes. Cera, an Upper Darby native, is also a co-founder of Philly Startup Leaders.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Arcweb?

A: It happened by accident. I was consulting and did a lot of founder dating and worked with entrepreneurs. I started Arcweb, got a project and needed to hire a couple of subcontractors. I got a big project about 16 months ago and hired our first full-time person.

Q: Did you bootstrap it?

A: We're completely bootstrapped. I probably invested $5,000 to get us started.

Q: What does Arcweb do?

A: We do product design and develop agile software. After products are launched, we also provide maintenance and support.

Q: Do you have some examples?

A: QTrak is a platform focused on iPod and sold to universities to help manage mailrooms. When students order books online, they can track shipments from the time they're on a loading dock to when they're delivered to a dorm room or picked up in a mailroom.

Q: How's the biz model work?

A: Like a lawyer or accountant, we work hourly. When a project comes in, we estimate the level of effort required and start. Twice a month we produce time reports to customers.

Q: Who are some customers?

A: QTrak, Comcast, PeopleLinx, Capital One and Dorman Products are some.

Q: With whom do you compete?

A: Big service shops like IBM and Accenture. Our approach is agile software development and bringing products to market efficiently. Our key parameters are budget, timeline and scope.

Q: How much do services cost?

A: Most of our projects are between $125,000 and $250,000.

Q: How big a biz is this?

A: We'll do $1.6 million in revenue this year and are projecting $2.5 million in 2014.

Q: How many employees?

A: 15 full-time people.

Q: Where's it headed?

A: We're doing services right now, but building our own products is going to be our next act. Right now, about half the business is enterprise software for financial-services companies, and a third is in mobile development.


On Twitter: @MHinkelman

Online: ph.ly/YourBusiness

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