Skorpios already employs 45 people in Albuquerque and will get $7 million in city and state closing funds to help build a 48,000 square-foot manufacturing facility.
BY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI
An Albuquerque high tech start up company said Monday it will stay in Albuquerque and create up to 600 high paying jobs over the next decade by using light to move digital information instead of wires and electricity.
Those jobs will will include everything from manufacturing technicians to IT personnel, engineers and others, and will pay between $60,000 to $150,000 a year, the company and a host of politicians and economic development officials said. Gov. Susan Martinez and Mayor Richard Berry were on hand to help make the announcement.
The company, Skorpios Technologies Inc., has developed a silicon photonic integrated-circuit technology that can download a high definition movie in two seconds and 20,000 movies simultaneously, said the the firm’s founder, Stephen Krasulick. The process involves moving information with photons, or light, instead of electricity. The integrated circuits developed by Skorpios can move 100 billion pieces of information in a second, Krasulick said. The firm has developed a way to put its integrated circuits on silicon wafers, which is breakthrough technology, Berry said.
Skorpios already employs 45 people in Albuquerque and will get $7 million in city and state closing funds to help build a 48,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in the city. The factory here won’t actually make the chips; they’ll be manufactured in fabrication plants elsewhere. But workers here will package those chips into various products that Skorpios’ customers buy.
Skorpios was founded in 2009 in Albuquerque and has gotten more than $25 million in venture capital funding, some of it from big name manufacturers like Nokia and Ericsson. “Twenty-five million is what we have reported publicly; it’s significantly more than that,” Krasulick said.
“Building New Mexico into a high-tech jobs leader is a cornerstone of our efforts to grow and diversify our economy,” Martinez said at the company’s headquarters in the Northeast Heights. “That’s why we continue to do all we can to make New Mexico more competitive and business friendly – because it shows results by creating jobs for our families and communities.”
Berry said Skorpios’ technology will lead to a “sea change” in how information is moved and could help make Albuquerque a high-tech information hub. The city’s contribution of $1.5 million in closing funds is the “largest single investment that the city of Albuquerque has ever made in a company,” Berry said. “When we grow our own companies, this is how we are going to diversify our economy.”
One of the early investors in Skorpios was Cottonwood Technology fund in Santa Fe. It’s founder, Dave Blivin, said the fund invested in Skorpios in 2010 even before it had a product to demonstrate. Since then, Cottonwood has invested $3 million in the company, most of it seed money that allowed Skorpios to fully develop its concept and product. Since the, Skorpios has attracted a “marquee lineup of investors,” Blivin said.
Krasulick said he had offers to put the company’s manufacturing plant in California, Texas and Pennsylvania. He chose to build in Albuquerque in order to keep the manufacturing process close to the firm’s headquarters.
Dennis Domrzalski is an associate editor at ABQ Free Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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