SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is seeing two of its most significant current tenants expand their footprint even further in the coming months.
NeoLight, a technology company that developed a device to eradicate neonatal jaundice, began as a startup in 2014 as the brainchild of four Arizona State University master’s degree students. They discovered a novel light therapy for infant jaundice, a condition that occurs in 60% of infants worldwide, to reduce treatment time significantly and provide the ability to treat from home.
The company started inside SkySong and continues to lease space there today. ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative awarded them a $7,000 grant and a desk at SkySong to pursue their idea. The NeoLight team then built the product from the ground up while at SkySong, validated the product through clinical testing at Dignity Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and began raising funds successfully.
The company has manufactured more than 350 units, raised over $15 million in capital and treated thousands of babies to date. NeoLight is now expanding into a 2,000-square-foot space on the first floor of SkySong 1 as it evolves from the growth phase to scale.
“SkySong is home,” said Vivek Kopparthi, co-founder and CEO of NeoLight when the company first moved into its offices. “This is where we started; we started off as student entrepreneurs from ASU. I was in business school and my business partner was getting his masters at Fulton. There’s a lot of synergy and a lot of startups at work at SkySong so it is always that competitive environment.”
Additionally, HomeLight, the real estate technology company transforming the home buying and selling process for top real estate agents and their clients, recently announced it has moved its headquarters to the company’s offices in the SkySong Center. Previously, HomeLight was headquartered in San Francisco, where the company was founded in 2012. HomeLight has now expanded its existing SkySong footprint by 10,000 square feet to support the hiring of up to 300 employees in the region over the next 6-12 months. The expansive 25,000-square-foot space in SkySong 2 is HomeLight’s largest office in the United States and serves as an operational hub for the company’s customer service, sales, and title and escrow divisions.
“Throughout HomeLight’s rapid growth, SkySong has proven itself to be the ideal headquarters for HomeLight’s innovation as we continue to expand and hire up to 500 employees within the Scottsdale area,” said Sumant Sridharan, Chief Operating Officer of HomeLight. “We look forward to deepening HomeLight’s roots within SkySong’s booming tech community as we continue to revolutionize the way people buy and sell homes throughout the country.”
“This is precisely how the SkySong model is designed to work, by providing companies with the resources they need to grow and innovate,” said Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies. “We are pleased to see how these companies have grown in just a short time.”
Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong, in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies.
Sally C. Morton, executive vice president, ASU Knowledge Enterprise, said the growth of these two companies is an ideal example of what can happen when innovation and entrepreneurship collide.
“SkySong was built for this purpose — to help companies with groundbreaking ideas scale and grow,” Morton said. “It’s this kind of vision that has helped SkySong become one of the premier economic engines in the southwest, and we look forward to continuing this momentum well into the future.”
The Coppola Cheney Group of Lee & Associates is SkySong’s leasing broker, and Plaza Companies provides property management services for the project.
SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:
● Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
● Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
● Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
● Create a unique regional economic and social asset.
Companies located at SkySong have the opportunity to partner with Arizona State University, which has more than 100,000 students studying across four metropolitan Phoenix campuses, in Lake Havasu City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. ASU is one of the largest public universities in the nation, with the majority of its students attending its campus in Tempe, Arizona, less than three miles from SkySong.
In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.