A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:

Share story

What: Vantos, based in Pioneer Square

Who: Tom Spadafore, 49, CEO

Mission: Become the global leader in enterprise-investigation management, helping “the white hats to defeat the black hats.”

Navel gazing: Using a custom-configured Linux-based appliance, the company is attempting to help corporations manage the rising volume, variety and complexity of internal investigations. Spadafore claims it can be up and running in 90 minutes.

How it works: With the appliance, companies can gather everything from data trails to social-networking information (who is messaging whom). Information of interest can be placed into a virtual vault. “These days, it’s not enough to say that you’ve complied with a ruling,” Spadafore said. “You need to be able to prove it.”

Voice of experience: The Vantos management team has been involved in dozens of startups. This time, they are all taking a different approach. “When you think of startups you picture young people chasing the dream of dollars,” he said. “But this is more of a true mission. We have been through this before and all have scar tissue to show for it.”

Employees: 26

Financials: Spadafore said the company received $700,000 in orders during its first three months of operation. While not profitable now, the company aims to raise $10 million in venture funding.

Of the realm: The company has minted its own coin, so employees always have a tangible example of its philosophy in the palm of their hand. Made of steel, the silver dollar-size talisman is embossed with words such as trust, innovation, quality and integrity. And in bright letters is the motto: “The customer comes first.”

Age brings wisdom: “We are not trying to get rich,” Spadafore said. “Instead, we are out to build the best company we can. Nothing takes the place of persistence. You just press on. You may make mistakes but you can never give up.”

— Charles Bermant