Aira Selected for Incubation With Prominent Startup Incubator, EvoNexus
Aira has been selected to incubate with EvoNexus, the leading startup technology incubator in Southern California. The relationship is designed to accelerate the growth and success of Aira as it emerges as a major developer of innovative, personalized assistive technology and services that bring greater independence for blind and low-vision individuals.
Aira joins more than 80 companies that EvoNexus has admitted to its incubator since the service was launched in 2009. With offices in San Diego and Irvine, CA, EvoNexus — through its expertise and wide array of free business support services, plus mentoring and partnership connections with prominent technological firms such as Qualcomm, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T — has established itself as a viable nurturing ground for startups. For example, of the last 81 companies it has admitted, 71 are still active; over $609 million in venture funding and outcomes have been secured; 9 companies have been acquired, and more than 1,000 jobs created, EvoNexus statistics show.
Aira, founded in 2014 by UC San Diego alums Suman Kanuganti and Yuja Chang, will begin the EvoNexus Launch incubation program this spring.
¨EvoNexus certainly has a lot to offer for the success of Aira,¨ says Kanuganti, Aira CEO. ¨EvoNexus’s partnerships with such companies as Cisco, AT&T, Qualcomm, and Verizon can help us expand our service capabilities.¨ For instance, he says obtaining consistent network bandwidth is a key requisite for Aira’s product and future market expansion needs, ¨so forming relationships with these companies to tap into local Wifi networks for our bandwidth needs will help us to further expand services to our users.¨ In addition, Aira also aligns well with Qualcomm strategic initiatives in wireless health, he adds.
Added Benefits of EvoNexus Incubation
There are other benefits to incubating with EvoNexus, says Kanuganti, including the ¨opportunity to receive advice from industry experts who serve on the EvoNexus mentor panel, such as those from Qualcomm and LG Electronics Mobile Research.¨ Another plus is being able to take advantage of other free-of-charge resources that EvoNexus offers, especially the daily use of workspace at EvoNexus’s facilities in La Jolla’s University Towne Centre (strategically located near technology-driven UC San Diego) which will further expose Aira staffers to a vibrant, creative startup environment with like-minded innovators.
Larry Bock, Aira Executive Chairman and prominent serial entrepreneur, agrees. ¨Having the opportunity to learn, network and partner with other local San Diego startups as part of the EvoNexus community will give us invaluable support and enable us to get our product to the market quicker.¨ This experience, he says, will also add momentum to another boost that Aira recently received when it was selected to the incubation program of StartR at UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.
Fast becoming known in the world of assistive technology, Aira relies on an array of disciplines (such as those based in computer science, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, robotics and orientation and mobility training) to design products and services to help blind and low-vision users gain independence in a wide range of daily activities. This approach allows Aira to provide live, personalized assistance to the visually impaired via a network of trained certified Agents, plus users’ family and friends.
In its incubation period, Aira will execute major aspects of its business plan, including conducting beta testing of its technology and services this summer in San Diego for blind and visually impaired individuals (for which over 100 testers are already currently signed up), and making its product available to the public by the first quarter of 2016.
In addition, Kanuganti says, Aira will continue to maintain a close relationship with UC San Diego’s Jacob School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management where most of its current staff are from.
EvoNexus is a technology incubator for Southern California’s startup community with locations in San Diego and Irvine that does not require companies to surrender equity. EvoNexus empowers motivated entrepreneurs to turn their transformative ideas into fundable, commercially viable companies, and leverages community resources to provide what entrepreneurs need to be successful. For more information, visit http://www.evonexus.org
Note: EvoNexus prides itself on finding and growing the best of the best startups in San Diego and Irvine. For more information on the current and past graduate companies that have been admitted to EvoNexus — and to find out how you can become involved in the incubator as an investor, volunteer or mentor — we encourage you to visit: http://evonexus.org/evonexus/companies/