Crain's 40 Under 40
November 19, 2001
ARI KAPLAN, 31
Co-Founder and CEO
Expand Beyond Corp.
Like many kids growing
Mr. Kaplan scored a research fellowship, as an undergraduate at the California Institute of Technology, to invent better statistical measures than baseball's traditional earned-run averages and saves. In 1989, he presented his findings to Caltech's board of trustees, including Eli Jacobs, then the owner of the Baltimore Orioles, who offered the 19-year-old Mr. Kaplan a job on the spot.
In the decade or so since, about one-third of all Major League Baseball teams have tapped Mr. Kaplan to update their statistical methodology and database programming.
"He really has a love for the game," says Bill Harford, an independent scout for the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins. "And he is very knowledgeable."
Mr. Kaplan, meanwhile, became a database administrator specializing in Oracle Corp. products. He was consulting for the Chicago Board Options Exchange in late 1999 when the first wireless personal digital assistants hit the market. Mr. Kaplan quickly saw a market opportunity for software that would enable information technology staffs to troubleshoot database snafus remotely via handheld devices.
"I saw a universal issue," he says, noting that database downtime costs companies more than $30 billion a year. "Whenever a database problem needs to be addressed, companies have a hard time finding their IT workers. This affects all companies across all verticals."
He launched Expand
Beyond Corp. last year and brought its first software to market in January. His
clients include Verizon Wireless and Playboy.com. The company recently raised
$11.2 million in a funding led by
Mr. Kaplan was awarded Caltech's Alumni of the Decade Award in 1997, an honor shared by filmmaker Frank Capra and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, among others.
- Julie Johnsson