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Posted on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Software company Cataphora receives MEDC grant to expand in Ann Arbor

By Ben Freed

When Menlo Park, California-based Cataphora, Inc. realized many of their employees (and two co-founders) were spending a lot of time in Southeast Michigan on vacation or visiting family, they decided to open an office in Ann Arbor.

That office, currently just three people in a small space next to Menlo Innovations and TechArb in the Liberty Square basement, is scheduled to expand to at least 30 people in the next three years.


Cataphora plans to expand its Ann Arbor office from 3 people to at least 30.

As a part of Cataphora’s increased presence in the region, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded the data analytics company a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

“There are milestones of achievement that we will be reaching as part of receiving this grant,” Ann Arbor office manager Chris Kurecka said.

“Those range from hiring requirements to office space addition, extending leases, and investing a certain amount of capital in the area.”

As part of the deal, the company has pledged to invest approximately $200,000 in the office throughout the life of the grant. The city of Ann Arbor also is offering the company a $25,000 grant.

Kurecka said approximately one-quarter of the company’s approximately 35 employees either grew up in Southeast Michigan, went to the University of Michigan, or both.

“We recruit heavily from the university, it’s a great place to find people and there are a lot of people who want to stay in Michigan right now,” he said.

“People want to grow the tech community in Ann Arbor and it’s a great opportunity for them and for us to find good talent.”

Cataphora produces software which allows companies to examine their own internal data and messages in order to build models around what the company calls “digital character.”

That information can be used to examine communication structure, gauge employee morale, or find the root of problems such as fraud or improper behavior.

“A lot of the hiring we’ll be doing in Ann Arbor is people to do quality assurance, test software, and do the linguistics work that helps our products run,” Kurecka said.

“There will also be a few engineering jobs, not as much marketing, accounting, or financing at this office though.”

Cataphora also is looking to expand their physical blueprint in downtown Ann Arbor.

“I’ve been in coordination with SPARK for the past couple of months looking at office spaces around town,” Kurecka said.

“In the spring or maybe late winter next year we’re looking to find a new space. Our goal is to stay in the downtown area though.”

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Rick Stevens

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

Ah, I get it. SPARK will now claim they created the jobs!

Rick Stevens

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

SPARK? How about a local real estate agent?