It took 17 years for Calgary’s Smart Technologies to sell one million of its interactive whiteboards but CEO Nancy Knowlton predicts that is should only take two more years to sell the next million. Knowlton made the call during an interview in today’s Globe and Mail with Gordon Pitts.
Smart Technologies makes touch-sensitive teaching tools linked to computers and digital projectors – their amazing growth trajectory has turned them into global powerhouse in the teaching and training sector. Ms. Knowlton, who founded Smart in 1986 with husband David Martin, says the Canadian company should top $1 Billion in annual sales over the next two to four years, up from the $500 Million projected this year.
Pitts’ piece covers everything from the possibility of Smart going public to maintaining its manufacturing in Kanata, ON. Congrats to Smart for funding themselves to date and fending off the allure of low-cost Asian production. Going public would allow a very successful exit by members of an ownership group that includes Knowlton, Martin, computer chip giant Intel Corp., and British private equity firm Apax Partners, which bought a large, undisclosed minority stake last year.