A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: Experticity of Seattle.

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What: Experticity of Seattle


What it does: Produces an audio-visual kiosk system that retailers can use to connect customers with service specialists. Customers in effect videoconference with store representatives. The system “load balances” customer service by connecting customers with available staff across time zones, at remote sites or in less-busy stores.


How it began: Founder D.L. Baron had an epiphany while traveling from New York to Asia in 2000. Watching two airline representatives trying to manage a line of frustrated customers, he thought there had to be a better way to provide customer service. In 2001, he began building the Experticity System.


Key executives: Baron and Jeff Erwin, president and chief executive officer


Employees: 14


Funding: Closed a seed round of funding and in the process of raising a series-A round of $4 million to $6 million.


Major customers: Working on in-store trials with three to five major retail chains in the U.S. and Canada. System went live in Best Buy’s Bellevue store last week.


Biggest competitive threat: “That we cannot handle the demand,” Erwin said.


CEO inspiration: “This is my third startup; I love to build companies,” Erwin said.


Web site: experticity.com.


— Brier Dudley