Mother, business innovator

Kerry Frank, president of Balanced IT Solutions, wants to show it’s possible to be a successful businesswoman and a mom.
The mother of three launched a successful company two years ago and is a finalist in the Innovate Illinois Competition.
“I want to show women they can go after their dreams,” Frank said.

The 12 companies are competing for a chance to win $80,000 in prize money, which will be used to help commercialize their product. Finalists will have seven minutes to present their innovations to a panel of judges followed by a three minute question-and-answer session.

The two top honorees at the finals will each receive a $30,000 cash prize, and the two runners-up will each receive a $10,000 second place prize. The finals will be held on Nov. 10 at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center. The Innovate Illinois program is administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, as affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, which works to accelerate high growth entrepreneurial companies.

Across the state, more than 130 companies applied to the 2009 Innovate Illinois program. From there, 30 companies were selected by the state’s Entrepreneurship Centers and participated in the semifinals on Sept. 24.

Balanced IT Solutions is an 11-employee software development company based in South Beloit, which builds customized software solutions for various industries. It offers IT Training, software implementation, hardware installation, IP telephony and multimedia presence.

Frank’s new software, originally designed for the aviation industry, is bringing her company a whirlwind of growth. Comply365 is a compliance tracking software package which can be used in most industries to make sure employees are in compliance of regulations. The software stores documents. For example healthcare and aviation industry employees can read the latest procedures and be documented. Frank added that FAA, OSHA, and the FDIC have huge fines if employees are not in compliance.

Because of the company’s growth Frank is constantly traveling, marketing her software to various industries. She said she always had an entrepreneurial bent and has a variety of businesses over the years including insurance sales, catering, snap on tools and cake decorating. She moved her company in the basement of her South Beloit home for privacy reasons, and added that she is working on software for Homeland Security.

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