In 1979, serial entrepreneur David Jorgensen co-founded Katun Corporation in his partner’s home. His partner acted as CEO while Mr. Jorgensen provided startup funding and a direction for growth. The company sells aftermarket parts, supplies, and accessories that are compatible with brand-name printers, copiers, and other office imaging equipment. Early on, the firm included a small warehouse and a few employees. In their wildest dreams, the friends envisioned expanding Katun to $10 million in sales and then selling. With excellent market timing and complementary skills, the men moved to a larger space in the early 1980s and grew the staff to 50.
At this point, Katun acquired Bedford International, a European company selling copier supplies and parts, and established a presence in England and France. By 1990, David Jorgensen had developed key partnerships with top manufacturers, including Stanley Electric Co., Ltd.; Ricoh Americas Corp.; Gestetner; and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. In the next few years, Katun debuted Minco Manufacturing, LLC, a subsidiary in Colorado, and opened a distribution center in the Netherlands. A North American distribution center in Iowa followed, as did European expansion. In the late 1990s, the partners at Katun constructed a Research and Development Annex to test and perfect products. They acquired fax-products supplier EBS as well as D&R Products, a provider of parts for high-speed printers.
Back to those wildest dreams. David Jorgensen assumed the reins as Chairman of the Board of Katun in 2000 as sales reached $350 million. He led the negotiations to sell the company in 2002 to a group of private-equity investors. David Jorgensen holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, an MBA, and a Master’s degree in engineering. He also completed the coursework for a Ph.D., but his education accounts for only a portion of his success in business. The rest stems from his entrepreneurial vision, his ability to lead, and his eye for partners who complement his skills.