A Florida SBDC Success Story: CPR Tools, Inc. Fort Myers

CPR Tools, Inc. is a woman-owned small business, owned and operated by John and Sue Benkert. The Benkert’s began working for CPR Tools in 2004, John as a Senior Computer Scientist and Sue as the office manager.  There were seven employees when John started at CPR Tools. He quickly determined the company’s potential went beyond data recovery services.  He hired several hardware and software engineers and began designing and building products for the data recovery and security markets.  In 2011, the Benkert’s acquired the company, Sue serves as CFO and John as CEO and employment has expanded to 28 employees.

While CPR specializes in data recovery, eradication, advanced repairs, and data security, they also offer training and research services.  Some of their largest contracts come from national and local law enforcement agencies, as well as internet technology companies.  In 2005, the company sold its first designed and built data recovery product, PSI CLONE. In following next two years, two new products were released. John continually develops new products for data recovery and data security all while continuing to offer those same services to their customers.

John is a major advocate of small business and is glad to have made the switch from his data processing job in the government at the National Security Agency. Says John, “You can innovate, you can fail, and nobody is going to tell you that you failed.   If you don’t fail you’re never going to learn.”  John Benkert has degrees in Communications, Management, and an MBA.  He also has a diverse background in both commercial and government organizations, with over 25 years of accomplishments in the areas of technology and national security. John is a veteran and served in the United States Air Force (USAF) for over 20 years.

John really appreciates the help the FSBDC gave them when they were starting out.  The FSBDC helped answer a lot of questions that helped John transition from government work to small business ownership.  John had a learning curve when he first acquired CPR Tools and attributes credit to Kevin Brady, FSBDC International Trade Specialist. Brady created an international marketing plan for CPR Tools to assist them in expanding into worldwide markets.  In addition, the FSBDC is credited with helping create impactful connections between CPR Tools and Florida Gulf Coast University as well as the University of South Florida.   John states, “I would recommend the SBDC to anyone who asks me (where to go for assistance).”

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