Rentech was started with one individual and a vision in 1996. Founder and owner, Jack Rentz, came to the SBDC with a vision, experience and drive. A TTU graduate of the Whitacre School of Engineering, he worked hand-in-hand with his SBDC Business Advisor to produce financial projections to support a successful financial proposal. Through the combined financial support of a local bank and the Development Corporation of Abilene, a company was started that would change the face of Abilene.
Today, Rentech designs and builds custom boilers for petro-chemical, power generation and other heavy industries. Rentech and its two associate companies, Rentech Boiler Services and Frontier Welding Products together employ 335 individuals in and around the city of Abilene, Texas. Throughout the years the SBDC supported Rentech by introducing the company to the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Services for international contacts, and now a strong percentage of the company’s revenue is derived from export sales. Rentech Boilers has product installed in 34 different countries around the world. In 2016 the company boosted a total revenue of $118M with 20% of total revenue derived from exports.
Years later, under the supervision of their SBDC Business Advisor, a Texas Tech graduate student conducted a business valuation for the client. This was a learning experience for the student and a non-fee service to the company. Throughout the course of the company’s growth, Rentz utilized the SBDC as a trusted source of professional business guidance. “The SBDC worked with me back in ’96 to compile the initial financial projection that I took to the bank that got me the start-up funding— and they have been with me through the life of this business,” said Jack. He and his wife Becky are very involved in and very generously support many activities within the community, Texas Tech University, and the SBDC. Jack was named Distinguished Alumni of the year by TTU in 2011.