Ventures Gives Leg Up to Simma Software

With just one client to his name, J.R. Simma started a high-tech company in the spare bedroom of his home. His area of expertise was the niche market of embedded software, which allows non-computerized electronic parts in cars, aircraft, farm equipment and other complex machinery to interface with each other.

Soon, Simma Software outgrew the spare bedroom and Simma began searching for more space and skilled help in the form of computer, electrical and software engineers. That’s where Ventures entered the picture. A native of Riley, Indiana, which is just a few miles from the Ventures facility, Simma knew just where to turn. Soon, he was operating full time out of 600 square feet within the Ventures headquarters and was employing Rose-Hulman student interns on a consistent basis for nearly 10 years.

“We’ve grown about 30 percent year-over-year in the past nine years,” Simma says. “There’s no way we could have done that without Ventures.”

One former intern who discovered his passion for embedded software development while working on Simma Software projects is Jake Whiteley, a 2016 Rose-Hulman computer science alumnus. Whiteley had several job offers when he graduated, but signed on to stay with Simma as a full-time employee because of his love of embedded software development.

“Ventures drove home to me that I could find a job doing what I enjoy,” Whiteley says.

This spring, having outgrown the Ventures location, Simma Software moved back to Riley, where the company serves its global customer base from a much larger facility and with four full-time employees. Simma expects additional growth as the market for his company’s main hardware product—an adapter that records miles of operations for commercial vehicles—is set to expand dramatically at the end of the year with the introduction of new highway safety regulations.