SkySong provides 'soft landing place' for startups
Four innovative early-stage technology companies, a well-known biosciences industry association and an international consulting firm helping Danish companies enter the U.S. market are the latest additions to the accelerator space at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.
“All of these new partners add interesting elements to the unique mix of companies within our space at ASU SkySong,” said Julia Rosen, associate vice president for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University. “We have already been able to help accelerate the progress for a few of these new companies and look forward to continuing to assist all of them as they grow and prosper.”
ASU SkySong offers comprehensive business development assistance, as well as a portal to the resources and services of ASU. ASU SkySong supports new technology startups with office space, access to business services and continuing training geared toward local innovators and global firms seeking to start operations in the United States.
Joining the atmosphere of innovation and collaboration at SkySong is an easy move to make, according to Rich Fennessy, president and chief executive officer of PeopleJar.com. The three-person PeopleJar.com team began working in SkySong in February 2010.
“PeopleJar.com made the decision to join the many innovative and creative companies at ASU SkySong because of the cool atmosphere and the access to new technology, as well as global and local contacts,” Fennessy said. “The multiple services and support offered, as well as capital network opportunities, were also important.”
Fennessy added that PeopleJar.com hopes to gain support for, and feedback on, their product from the ASU student body through their relationship with ASU SkySong.
Managing the rapid growth of health care technology startup – and strengthening relationships with the university – brought Eric V. Trappen, chief executive officer of Emerge.MD, and his team to ASU SkySong. Emerge.MD moved in with five employees in March 2010.
“We chose ASU SkySong because we are experiencing rapid growth and needed a cost-effective way to manage that growth,” Trappen said. “We also utilize a lot of ASU interns and have a growing relationship with different areas of the university, both as a customer and a strategic partner.
“We hope to continue to develop our relationship with ASU and, as a small business with limited resources, I am hoping that we will learn to work more effectively and efficiently with ASU via the staff at SkySong.”
Doug Bean, founder of technology startup SiteVoice, was aware of ASU SkySong’s reputation as an effective portal to the resources and services of ASU, as well as a state-of-the-art facility offering the latest video teleconferencing and meeting space technology. But a tour of SkySong convinced him that it was the right place to grow his new company.
“We had heard about the SkySong proposition from several business associates,” said Bean, who moved in with a SiteVoice colleague in January 2010. “Once we explored the facility and met the ASU SkySong executive team, it became obvious that our company needed to headquarter here. Coupled with the great reputation of ASU and the fact that we have a strong presence in the educational space, we hope to take advantage of the many resources this partnership has to offer.”
ASU SkySong also has developed an international reputation as a "soft landing place" for companies looking to access the U.S. marketplace. This status as a point of access for global business acceleration attracted Johnny Killerup Pederson and South Denmark International (SDI), a consulting firm helping Danish companies enter the U.S. market. Pederson moved in to SkySong in February 2010.
“As a promotion agency for international business, we depend on having professional contacts, networks and services for our Danish companies,” Killerup said. “ASU SkySong offers a unique combination of all elements, as well as a specific global focus and unusually strong link to business and research resources.”
The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) considers their partnership with ASU SkySong as a strengthening of both organizations’ missions, said Robert S. Green, president and chief executive officer of AZBio. AZBio is the most recent addition to ASU SkySong, having moved in April 1.
“AZBio and SkySong share the same mission of building the Arizona economy by helping companies grow,” Green said.
New companies at ASU SkySong are:
Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio)
AZBio is comprised of member organizations in business, research and education, economic development, government, and other professions involved in the biosciences. As the unified voice of Arizona’s bioscience industry, AZBio strives to make Arizona a place where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed.
Emerge.MD provides healthcare software solutions and Web applications to leading research organizations, health care providers and advocacy groups. Its products reduce health care costs, increase operational efficiency and enable the delivery of higher quality patient care.
PeopleJar.com is a utility to help establish a new connection with another person by a particular interest or skill in any field and take the benefit of that connection outside the platform.
Riinu.com will be a boutique social network focusing on healthy lifestyle choices for those seeking to make positive health changes in their lives.
SiteVoice utilizes the latest developments in conversational technology to provide software solutions for customer service organizations that bridge the gap between voice and web interactions.
South Denmark International (SDI)
SDI is a consulting service assisting Danish companies’ entry to the U.S. market, with focus on market research, go-to-market strategies and practical assistance for start-up activities.