Innovation is in the air at BAK USA. Located on Buffalo's East Side, the company has grown to more than 90 employees since their opening in 2015 and plans to continue to scale have just begun.
This month, we are excited to announce that Bak USA is teaming up with Upstart NY for your chance to win a new Seal tablet, made right here in Bak USA’s headquarters.
The family began their journey in social entrepreneurship in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010 with the founding of Surtab, a tablet manufacturing company. After selling the company to local partners, the Baks began looking to replicate the Surtab model here in the United States.
The family was recruited by a number of different cities, but chose Buffalo as the site of their new manufacturing firm.
"They were connected with Buffalo by someone in Haiti who was from Buffalo originally, and she told them they had to come and check it out," says Carly Battin, communications manager at Bak USA. "Once arriving here they liked the feel of the city, they had a really nice reception from everyone that they met. They also learned a little bit about the city’s history and recent in manufacturing, and some of the hard knocks that the city has experienced. They recognized that they had access to a workforce here that was well suited to manufacturing and that the jobs they were able to provided were very much needed.”
Bak USA’s original product line was the Bak Board, a tablet assembled in the Buffalo headquarters and sent to customers overseas. After seeing the opportunity and need for accessible, purpose built technology in the US, the company refocused its mission revolving around two product lines: the Atlas and Seal. The Atlas is a two-in-one laptop made for education, while the Seal is a ruggedized tablet built for workplaces.
"We did quite a bit of research, including a lot of local research. So bringing people in for focus groups, and really tapping into customers in the Buffalo community to understand what their needs were for technology on the job site," says Battin. The Seal is currently being utilized in over 60 demo programs across the country, with a recent testing with Delaware North at Progressive Field at the 2016 World Series.
With partnerships with Intel and Microsoft, Bak products can be found in Microsoft stores across the US and Canada.
Bak USA’s hiring ideology is unique compared to many tech companies. With a mission to give access to high-quality jobs and education to those who need it, their location in the East Side was a purposeful choice. The company focuses on hiring in the community by bringing people into the company who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
“Ultimately, we’re blending our social mission with technology in a way that benefits our employees, our customers, and our company," says Christian Bak, Bak USA’s vice president of product. "We’re empowering our employees with interesting, stimulating, and valuable skills. We’re enhancing our own ability to compete against industry giants whose standards of production often fly in the face of ethical human conditions,” Every day, Bak USA is proving that innovation in tech can take place outside of Silicon Valley, and they are just getting started.
Enter here for your chance to win a brand new Seal from Bak USA!