Seven years ago, Baha Zeidan and two of his Valdosta colleagues entered a local competition for business plans, looking to build on their idea for a health care software startup.
At the time, the three young men, all graduates of Valdosta State University, were working at a medical lab company in the South Georgia city.
The group saw a need for better software for the health care industry, which still was bogged down with paper medical records.
The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce awarded Zeidan, Douglas Swords and Daniel Henry the first prize of $15,000 for their business plan. The contest award also came with legal and other services.
“That was the start of the company,’’ Zeidan said Wednesday.
Azalea Health, launched in 2008 in Valdosta, “the Azalea City,” focused on providing electronic health records and billing software for physicians, along with software for laboratories.
On Tuesday, seven years after the contest award, the company announced a merger with Alpharetta-based simplifyMD, another private health IT firm. The merged company will have 70 employees and will have offices in Valdosta, Alpharetta and Macon as well as in Gainesville, Fla. full story