The STARC Story
2012 – Tim Hebert founds STARC
Tim Hebert was always concerned about the amount of dust, debris, and the time he had to dedicate to temporary containment on his sensitive or patient occupied healthcare renovation projects. Tim saw an opportunity to create a much better solution than traditional drywall. His concept was a modular, reusable temporary containment system that exceeded ICRA Class IV requirements, looked great, and was quick and quiet to install. With confidence in his idea, he founded STARC in 2012 and worked to create a business plan and patent.
2014 – First Sale
In early 2014 Tim hired Bruce Bickford, an experienced mechanical engineer, and product developer, as the company’s first employee. Within months they successfully prototyped and tested STARC’s initial product, bringing to life the industry’s most innovative durable temporary dust barrier and containment system – RealWall™. Their first significant sale was to Children’s Mercy Kansas City.
2015 – Product Adoption
Knowing that driving awareness through sales and marketing was crucial, Tim hired Chris MacKenzie, who brought significant sales experience. By the end of the year, STARC Systems began shipping RealWall to leading healthcare institutions throughout the United States and ramped up production to meet increasing demand.
2017 – Outside Investment
Given the growth and potential of the company, Blue Heron Capital, based in Richmond, VA, invested in STARC to support Tim’s plans to scale the company. To manage the company’s growth, Chris Vickers was hired as CEO, bringing senior leadership, product, and marketing experience.
2018 – Building on the Foundation
Over 2018, sales growth continued to accelerate. STARC added experienced managers and expert team members, increased production capacity, expanded marketing, and enhanced product innovation.
2019 – Continued Growth
RealWall continued to grow rapidly throughout the U.S. Later in the year, the company introduced its newest containment solution, LiteBarrier™, the most durable, best looking, and easiest to use solution in the lightweight containment category.
STARC is used across all 50 states and internationally with the leading construction firms in healthcare, as well as non-healthcare verticals such as commercial office, education, data centers, biotech, and government. None of these efforts would be possible without the incredibly dedicated team that we have working across the company. It is the team’s motivation and expertise that is enabling us to continue to evolve and grow as the nation’s leader in temporary containment.
2020 – Pandemic Heroes
As the world endured the arrival of COVID-19, and healthcare providers scrambled to manage skyrocketing caseloads, STARC found itself uniquely positioned to help. Our RealWall and LiteBarrier solutions, both of which exceed ICRA Class IV standards for infection control, were quickly adopted by proactive health systems, which leveraged STARC’s solutions to create Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs), anterooms and containment areas. In addition to being recognized for their infection control capabilities, RealWall and LiteBarrier were valued for their ease of installation, reconfigurability and unmatched durability.
For the second year in a row, STARC was recognized by Inc. magazine for being among the nation’s fastest growing manufacturing companies. It also ranked as one of 10 companies selected from a pool of 84 applicants to receive an award from the Maine Technology Institute’s Maine Technology Asset Fund 2.5. In addition, Manufacturing Today featured STARC for “leading the way” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Throughout the year, STARC accelerated its manufacturing efforts to ensure the availability of its solutions to health systems that required ICRA-compliant temporary containment.
2021 – Growing Solutions
As a leading manufacturer of high-quality temporary containment systems in the healthcare industry –as well as airports, data centers, universities and commercial office settings – STARC extended its track record for innovation this year by introducing a true, first-of-its-kind solution.
Called FireblockWall™, STARC’s third product offering stands as the first modular, reusable one-hour fire-rated temporary containment system. This solution installs four times faster than drywall, saving time and money while delivering unmatched performance and durability. Most importantly, FireblockWall meets four industry fire codes, including the critical certification for a one-hour fire barrier – and it satisfies ICRA Class V guidelines.
For the third year in a row, STARC was honored to be named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. The company ranked 1,449 on the list (#34 among manufacturers), achieving impressive growth of 327%.
2022 – Approvals & Innovation
Less than six months after its introduction, regulatory authorities started giving their approval to FireblockWall. The California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) and the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal accepted the first reusable one-hour fire-rated containment solution for occupied renovations. HCAI’s allowance applies to temporary construction barriers, when approved for a specific location, use and compliance.
STARC quickly followed up on the success of FireblockWall with the introduction of FireblockCap ™, an accessory that eliminates the need for facility managers and contractors to build through the spaghetti above the ceiling – or construct a soffit to the deck – in order to meet code requirements during occupied renovations in healthcare settings.
This year also ushered in a rental partnership with Sunbelt Rentals, a leader in the equipment rental industry with locations across North America. STARC’s award-winning modular wall systems are now available in convenient, low-cost rentals through Sunbelt Rentals.
For the fourth year in a row, we were named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. This year, STARC Systems ranked 2,998 on the list, achieving growth of 180% and ranking among 77 Repeat Honorees.
In addition, FacilitiesNet honored STARC Systems in two separate categories of the B2B publisher’s 4th Annual Vision Awards. The awards honor innovation and excellence in products that contribute to the efficient and profitable operations and management of institutional and commercial buildings in the United States. An independent panel of facility executives reviewed and judged this year’s record-breaking Vision Awards entries. STARC’s RealWall™, emerged victorious in Building Maintenance & Cleaning category. FireblockWall™ won in Life Safety & Security category.
2023– Growth, Opportunity & Investment
Building on our success as an industry-leading innovator and manufacturer of temporary reusable construction walls, STARC extended its growth trajectory in 2023.
In addition to maintaining our position as the go-to provider of ICRA barriers for healthcare construction and renovations, we deepened inroads into a number of key markets, including airports, data centers, life sciences labs, and commercial offices.
This year, STARC was honored to be named Top Modular Construction Products Provider 2023 by Construction Business Review. In addition, FireblockWall™–the only one-hour fire-rated alternative to drywall for use in healthcare renovations—won Healthcare Design’s 2023 Silver Product Innovation Award. RealWall™ received similar honors in 2019.
We also shared our commitment to sustainability, educating customers on how our products (made in a manufacturing environment fueled 100% by renewable energy) have prevented 160,298 cubic yards of single-use drywall from going to landfills. That’s roughly 90,546 TONS of drywall—the equivalent of 27,110 Ford F-150s! This commitment to sustainable building practices also extends through our business relationships, as reflected by the exclusive nationwide partnership we formed with Sunbelt Rentals in 2022.
In Q3, we were pleased to announce the company’s acquisition by Illinois-based private equity firm North Branch Capital, which recognizes that STARC has brought three category-leading temporary construction wall solutions to market and experienced 38% compounded annual growth over the past five years. STARC holds an 81 Net Promotor Score, reflecting strong customer satisfaction, and, as a result, has built a loyal customer base that includes 58 of the Top 75 commercial construction firms. This latest investment will continue to fuel innovation as well as our expansion into new markets.