by Chris Marr in Atlanta

Zycron, a privately held information technology service and staffing provider based in Nashville, Tennessee, heard recent interest from a suitor but is aiming at longer term independent growth goals, said chief executive and founder Darrell Freeman. The company, which has about USD 20m in annual revenue now, is aiming to build to the USD 100m revenue mark within six or seven years, and Freeman said acquisitions will likely be a part of that growth.

Zycron is focusing this year and next on adding cash to its balance sheet and building a larger corporate facility for itself in Nashville. Its acquisition search should begin in earnest in 1Q2010, the CEO said, and the company will look to pay for deals with cash and debt. Freeman owns 100% of the company today and is trying to avoid taking on equity investment.

A company approached Freeman within the last couple weeks wanting to buy or invest in Zycron, he said, but he chose not to pursue it. He added that he has noticed a slowdown in venture capital interest in his space, compared to active inquiries about 18 months ago. For strategic advisors, Freeman relies primarily on personal mentors, he said, including Sam Howard, a Nashville-area entrepreneur, and Jack Bovender, chief executive of HCA, also based in Nashville. Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz is Zycron’s corporate legal counsel. Freeman relies on Fox Kolb & Associates for accounting and financial advice.

With his growth goals in mind Freeman has begun assembling a senior management team this year, including the recent promotion of Temika Taylor to chief financial officer. In January, the company hired Steven Howard Smith to take over the role of president from Freeman. Smith has previous experience leading an IT company from USD 2m in revenue to USD 150m and then selling it, Freeman said.

Zycron’s biggest growth areas are in IT staffing for business intelligence and project management jobs, and it is looking to strengthen its presence in Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee, as well as Dallas, Texas. Eventually Freeman expects to expand Zycron into a nationwide business, similar to his key competitors, private Tech Systems, based in Duluth, Georgia, and listed Robert Half International (RHI), through its Robert Half Technology division, based in Menlo Park, California.

Freeman is also involved as a founding partner of two other Nashville-area businesses, Pinnacle Construction Partners and Reliant Bank.