ITSI-Biosciences is a Johnstown, PA based biotechnology company performing contract research and manufactures ready to use kits for biomedical research. It prides itself on providing the highest quality contract research services, laboratory reagents and laboratory equipment. Started by Dr. Richard Somiari in 2004, the company has grown domestically and internationally. Currently, approximately 70% of the company’s business comes from international sales.

When Dr. Somiari began to plan to start the business, it was recommended that he contact the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This provided him with a forum to discuss his ideas and to receive planning assistance. With help from the SBDC, Dr. Somiari worked with Richard through several iterations of the business plan and was able to obtain the necessary financing to start the business.

For the past four years, ITSI-Biosciences has been headquartered in the Kernville neighborhood of Johnstown. It has been in this time period that the international aspects of the business have expanded greatly.

In the company’s early stages of exporting, ITSI-Biosciences received a small grant through a program of the Saint Francis University Center for Global Competitiveness, in relation to an event they attended in South Africa. Since, ITSI has also worked extensively with Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development and its local partner Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission. The company now has representatives in twenty-two countries and sells its products globally.

As a result of their international sales efforts, in 2011, Dr. Somiari received the small business exporter of the year from the Saint Francis SBDC. The following year, the SBDC nominated Dr. Somiari for the small business exporter for the SBA’s 2012 small business awards. On May 25, 2012, Dr. Somiari was honored as both the Western Pennsylvania and Regional Small Business Exporter of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

The Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center is proud to have been a part of the success of Dr. Somiari and his company, ITSI-Biosciences. The company is a prime example that a technology company can be located anywhere and be successful. The Center continues to work with Richard on an as needed basis.