South Florida Extra - Pacesetter
Albert Santalo has his own prescription for physician groups worried about their revenue streams. His Miami company, Avisena, delivers billing and collections solutions using online technology and backoffice administrative support. Five years after its founding, Avisena has grown to $10 million to $15 million in annual revenue with a client base of more than 500 physicians and $400 million-plus in accounts receivable under management.
"Miami has been a wonderful place to launch our business as 2% of the U.S. healthcare market is within 50 miles of our office," says Santalo, president and CEO of the 125-employee company. "I didn't want to start a small company and make a decent living -- I like the game of business and wanted to start a company that could make it big."
After earning an MBA, Santalo spent 15 years learning about business. He joined the startup Miami IT consulting firm Answerthink in 1997 and watched it grow. Then, in 2001, he co-founded Avisena with former Answerthink executive Ben Sardiñas and former Oracle executive Frank Recio.
"My goal for the company now is to keep growing and expand on a national basis," Santalo says. "Our company is well-positioned to double in size in the next 18 months. We have the right people in place, we're having fun and we're proud to contribute to Miami's future."
|Albert Santalo, 38
Born: In Baltimore to Cuban parents, moved to Miami at age 11.
College: Bachelor's degree in computer engineering, University of Miami; MBA Florida International University.
Honors: FIU 2004 Charles E. Perry Visionary Award for outstanding alumni; 2006 inductee into FIU's Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
Personal: Married, four children. Hobbies: Bicycling, boating, skiing, golf.
Quote: "If you're an entrepreneur, you have to have a lot of faith. There will be times when you can't see a solution in front of you, but if you believe in what you are doing, you will find the right answer."