Yaris hailed as a ‘Big picture thinker’
Nashua | Developer leads technology side of data reporting and access platform
NASHUA – When a small, high-tech startup that had been operating over a garage in Goffstown was named a runner-up in a local business competition, the new company won rent-free office space in Nashua for a year.
That was exciting news to Ben Yaris, a member of the team of Forcivity, a cloud-based data reporting and access platform, who was serving as the firm’s director of engineering.
The company’s new Nashua headquarters is located on Innovative Way in the Nashua Technology Park on the Gateway Hills campus.
Forcivity was runner-up in the HiTech category of the 2016 fifth annual Flatly Challenge, a vigorous competition designed to assist startups and emerging businesses in several fields, including robotics, information technology, life sciences and other leading-edge technologies.
Working in their new office, which is about 800 square feet, Forcivity’s four-person Nashua team enjoys access to several building amenities, including conference rooms and a health club.
“It’s a pretty good deal, especially for a startup,” Yaris said. “It’s a lot of money we get to save.”
But just as importantly, being honored and supported by other entrepreneurs who believe in the company gives its team a big dose of motivation.
“Hopefully by the end of the year, our business will be taking off and we’ll be able to continue a lease here,” Yaris said. “Hopefully we’ll have a bigger space.”
Forcivity enables its customers to gain control over their data. Yaris, who has helped design its products, was named chief technology officer last month.
In his new position, Yaris helps drive the company’s brand and products and manage its overseas development team, and will build a technical team in the United States.
“Ben is absolutely the right person to lead the tech side of the house at Forcivity,” co-founder Steve Baines said in a statement. “He is a big-picture thinker who also has an incredible eye for details. He has a unique mix of technical, business and visual design skills that make him an invaluable member of the team.
“It is no coincidence that as we go out and (demonstrate) Forcivity, the feedback we consistently receive from prospects is that this is one of the best professional business applications they’ve ever seen.”
Winning free office space is the second time the company placed runner-up in a local competition. Forcivity won $30,000 when it placed second at the 2016 TechOut Competition.
That contest is organized by the New Hampshire High Tech Council and Alpha Loft, which incubates and accelerates startup and early stage New Hampshire companies.
Forcivity was founded by Baines, in whose Goffstown home the company used to be located, and Bedford resident Max Lydston, on Dec. 31, 2015.
Yaris, who had worked at SilverTech in Manchester, where Baines served as CTO, had hit it off with him and he joined the new venture last April.
Yaris, who holds equity in the company, would like to see its staff grow to 20 employees, including four or five developers, in a year. The company is in the process of closing its first round of funding.
“Being in Nashua gives me the ability to get that talent,” he said. “I like Nashua personally because it’s centrally located. It’s north of Boston and it’s south of Manchester. I feel that gives us the best 20-, 30-mile radius around for developers or engineers or salespeople. I think Nashua is a great tech spot.”
Yaris, who enjoys golf to “decompress” from work, credits Baines with providing workers with a good work life balance. It’s a healthy environment that he thinks will appeal to new employees.
People wear slippers at work, munch on M&Ms featuring the company name and have enjoyed meals made by Baines’ wife, MaryAnn, who Yaris said is a phenomenal cook.
Yaris, 31, who has spent a decade working in technology, might not be where he is today if it wasn’t for a disease that afflicted him while growing up.
He was diagnosed at 15 with Blount’s disease, a growth disorder that typically causes lower legs to angle inward. It required him to have three major surgeries while he was a student at Raymond High School.
Unable to take gym class in school, he spent much of his time on computers, making websites and doing other things, and taking several computer classes.
“While everyone else was playing sports and doing whatever high schoolers do, I was glued to a computer,” he recalled. “That’s how I found my passion over the course of my high school career.”
Yaris earned a bachelor’s degree in multimedia and graphic design at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. He soon realized, however, that he wasn’t creative enough for it and pursued other technology opportunities.
Yaris, who enjoyed learning coding in school and taught himself programming, has held several technology jobs and has done freelance work .
He has worked for GotPrint and Cynergy Systems, and helped create websites for Puma, a footwear manufacturer.
He’s excited about the work he’s doing now for Forcivity, which he joined in April. The company prides itself on dreaming big, working hard and having fun.
“I don’t think you’re going to find a better group of people that’s more passionate about (what) they’re doing,” he said.