NJTechWeekly.com decided to get in touch with former winners of New Jersey pitch competitions, to see how their startups have been faring since they won their events. In this article, Steve Sears interviewed Henry Wojtunik, CEO of Safe-Com Wireless which won the September 2018 TechLaunch BullPen. The next TechLaunch BullPen is tomorrow, Feb 9. Register here.
Safe-Com Wireless, in Holmdel, celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2021 with a bit of an expansion and a move into brand-new offices.
The central New Jersey firm has been profitable from the start, but 2021 was perhaps the best year of all. “With all the craziness and everything, it turned out to be a very good year for my industry niche,” said founder and CEO Henry Wojtunik.
Wojtunik’s company not only aids first responders, but also the general public. “We are an OEM manufacturer of public safety communications equipment,” he said. “We design and manufacture the equipment, then sell the equipment to integrators, and they install that equipment inside buildings to help fire, police, and EMS communicate when they’re responding to incidents inside buildings.”
He added, “At the very beginning of our product introduction, there was some risk there in that we weren’t sure whether what we were coming up with would be accepted, but the market accepted it. We have loyal customers with repeat business. We’ve developed a product that satisfies a niche within our industry that was underserved, and we’ve refined that even further. That really caught on, and we’re really solving a big problem in an industry that didn’t have very good solutions, so it took off.”
In September 2018, Safe-Com Wireless captured both the Audience Choice and Investor Panel awards at the TechLaunch BullPen competition, held at Princeton University. Wojtunik’s big takeaway from the BullPen experience was a validation and encouragement of the industry as a whole.
“Out of that comes a bit of a more refined focus,” he said. “When you present your strategy and your concept to the market, and to smart people who have seen lots of these things like those on the panel and Mario [Casabona, founder of TechLaunch], the feedback that comes from that is really very beneficial and helpful in focusing, in giving us confidence to keep moving forward. That’s really what it did. It was the support of the community — the local community — that helped us move forward faster.”
Since that evening’s success, Safe-Com Wireless has not changed direction. “We are staying with the same strategy,” Wojtunik affirmed. “It was a strategy that worked. There was a space that needed what we had to offer, and the strategy has worked out great. And we’ve continued along that line, and we continue to go along [with] that same strategy.”
Safe-Com Wireless is located at 670 North Beers Street, Building 4, in Holmdel. For more information about the company, visit the website.