Shane Ballman hadn’t planned on becoming an entrepreneur, but while working for a major airline he noticed an opportunity to create his own maintenance software.
“As a manager of maintenance systems, I started seeing problems out there and a light bulb went off in my head,” the 2009 Embry-Riddle Worldwide graduate said.
Those problems consisted of using what Ballman refers to as outdated system that commercial airlines rely on to track airplane maintenance and can end up costing time and money.
In response to those inefficiencies, Ballman launched SynapseMX, a Georgia-based company that makes cloud-based software to help commercial aircraft maintenance teams work better and streamline operations to improve repair time and avoid plane delays.
Recently, Ballman’s startup was selected to be part of 500 Startups, a four-month accelerator program in Mountain View, CA that helps startups grow by providing mentorships, training and networking opportunities. Ballman has temporarily relocated to California so that he can participate in the program. Ballman’s startup has received an initial investment and is using that to continue developing software that can be utilized by any commercial aircraft operator.
At the 500 Startups Demo Day in mid-February, Ballman will have the opportunity to pitch his business to a room full of investors.
“From there we plan to raise enough to scale the company up and reach our next set of milestones,” he said.
Ballman earned his bachelor’s degree in Aviation Business Administration and worked in various maintenance and technology positions for AirTran and Southwest Airlines for more than a decade. He said that his experience in the field helped him earn credibility for launching his own company with his business partner and software architect Malcolm Burton.
“Opportunity is hidden in the margins of secrets,” Ballman said. “If you can find something that no one else has realized, that’s a great way to start a company and building something.”