Jennifer Mellor

Jennifer Mellor is GPCC’s VP of economic development.

The Greater Phoenix region has long been a hub of entrepreneurship, ranking in the top 20 cities by Inc. Magazine. We are very familiar with some of our more successful entrepreneurs, including Bob Parsons at Go Daddy, Rick Smith at Taser and an exhaustive list of restaurateurs. The Greater Phoenix region is also gaining a reputation for startups that are using technology to improve health care.

One of the biggest success stories in this space is WebPT – a cloud-based electronic medical records (EMR) company that specifically serves physical therapists and their practices.

What’s especially impressive is the fact that WebPT is a “grow from within” success story – something near and dear to the mission of the Chamber’s Phoenix Forward economic development initiative, which places a keen focus on helping Arizona-based businesses expand. The driving factor in this strategy is due to the fact that 80 percent of new jobs are created by local companies.

In many ways, WebPT has developed the blueprint for starting small and growing globally.

Founded in 2008 by Heidi and Brad Jannenga, the company serves more than 8,000 rehab therapy clinics and 60,000 members in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Guam and the Virgin Islands. That’s about 33 percent of the market share.

When local companies find success on a national or global scale, it means more high-wage jobs across the Greater Phoenix region and more capital investment by growing companies, not to mention empowering our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

WebPT’s business model is also a great example of how technology can advance our level of health care. We all benefit from innovations that make our quality of life better, especially when it comes to our health. That’s just one reason we’ve made health care one of our four key industry sectors. The focus of the Phoenix Forward Health Care Leadership Council is to understand and address workforce needs, facilitate health care innovations and expand wellness initiatives.

WebPT and the founders’ success don’t go unrecognized. In October 2015, Heidi was recognized as a finalist in the private sector category at the 28th Annual ATHENA Awards, a recognition bestowed on women who make a difference in our community through their excellence in business and leadership. You can read more about her here.

In 2016, WebPT will be doubling its space to 60,000 square feet when the company moves to another downtown building in the historic Warehouse District. Lucky for Phoenix, Heidi and Brad built a software solution to solve her industry’s needs – and chose to stay local and grow global.

– Written by Jennifer Mellor, vice president of economic development at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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