Chairman and CEO, Zoomi, Inc.
Three people and $5,000 was all James Walker needed to start his first company. Octagon Research Solutions provided clinical and regulatory information-management solutions and software for the pharmaceutical industry. And three years was all he needed to grow Octagon into a multinational corporation employing 450 people.
Walker sold to Accenture in September 2012 for an undisclosed amount. Three years later, he founded Zoomi. “We wrap a data-capture and algorithm layer around e-learning,” says Walker. “That allows us to predict your performance, individualize content in real time, and optimize social learning. It’s about measuring learning in the workplace and linking that to business outcomes.”
Zoomi has an impressive executive roster that includes two Princeton University electrical engineers. One of them was the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s 2013 Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest honor given to young scientists in the United States. Walker himself won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Stevie Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year at the American Business Awards, and the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies’ Enterprise Award for Technology CEO of the Year.
Zoomi now has 25 employees. It’s enough, Walker says, to do great things that will change how businesses handle e-learning.