Corey Ranslem & Frank Fenner, IMSA
International Maritime Security Associates, Inc. (IMSA) started up business with the intent to provide vessels and marine facilities with security plans that comply with U.S. Coast Guard or International Maritime Organization regulations. However, as the company grew, it evolved into a maritime technology company.
“We provide location-specific, critical information to vessels in real time worldwide through our state-of-the-art, award-winning ARMS software platform,” Corey Ranslem, IMSA’s CEO, explains. With this platform, IMSA operates a Global Intelligence, Information, and Communications Center, which works to gather and distribute vital intelligence to vessels across the globe in order to keep those at sea safe and informed.
Ranslem and IMSA’s COO, Frank Fenner, were originally based in Florida, but slowly realized that it wasn’t the best place for them to continue their operations. The two began looking to relocate to a city with five factors in mind: internet infrastructure, power infrastructure, a major urban area, low cost of living, and location desirability. “When we considered all five factors, Chattanooga was the only city in the world that satisfied everything on the list,” Ranslem says.
IMSA officially moved to the Scenic City in April of 2016. “We’re probably one of the first maritime-related companies in Chattanooga,” Ranslem shares. “The whole city and entrepreneurial ecosystem have been extremely helpful and supportive of IMSA and building our company.” Ranslem feels that Chattanooga could be a great worldwide center of excellence for this industry, and he loves having resources available to the company around town, such as CO.LAB and UTC – not to mention all the outdoor activities for everyone at IMSA to enjoy.
This year has been a busy one for IMSA. “Our ARMS software is currently the only shipboard-based platform providing real-time information on the COVID-related outbreaks, along with the delays, closures, restrictions, and quarantines in ports, facilities, and waterways around the world,” Ranslem explains. From their base in Chattanooga, the company is doing all they can to help keep those at sea safe and healthy during the pandemic.
Fenner has had experience as an entrepreneur prior to this, “but nothing on the scale or global impact of IMSA,” he says. “It’s my hope that we’ll continue to grow and make a difference in the maritime industry.” CS