One year ago, Gabe Ayers was the sole employee of his software and electrical engineering consulting firm Apricity. Today, Apricity has seven full-time employees and a handful of part-time workers. And Ayers is not stopping there.
“Our goal continues to be 20 employees by the end of 2019,” he says. “We’re building an 1,800-square foot office in Northwest Crossing. If we have more space, we can have more people, we can have more equipment and we can do better testing. I’m taking the mentality of, ‘Build it and they will come.’”
Taking a business from a one-man show in 2017 to a team of 20 headquartered in Bend, required something of a leap of faith for Ayers. Though Apricity has a second office in Cambridge, Mass., where Ayers worked for MIT, and an employee in Tanzania, Africa, Ayers chose to start Apricity in Bend because of its relative proximity to the tech hubs of Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, and because of his passion for the outdoors and outdoor sports.
“I was living in Jackson Hole, and I needed an incubator space. I took a look at Bend, and I came into BendTECH when I first visited the town. The fact that this space exists was one of the reasons I decided to move Apricity here.”
Ayers, Apricity’s CEO and Lead Engineer, started at BendTECH renting an individual desk for himself. Then, when he began to staff up, he moved into a small office. Not long after that, he rented another office. Today, he shares one of the space’s larger offices with a small team of employees, but his business is rapidly outgrowing even that space, hence the construction of a new office in Northwest Crossing.
“Business has been going well,” he admits with a grin. “BendTECH was the perfect launching pad. It provides a low-risk entry point into having a space to start a business. For me, it’s been a great stepping stone to bigger things.”
Tim Riefke, Executive Director of BendTECH, agrees, pointing to Apricity as a successful example of a company that has benefited from BendTECH’s mission.
“The growth of Apricity is a perfect illustration of what BendTECH can do for young businesses,” he says. “We’re here to give companies the facilities and space to grow from a startup to something much more. The connections business owners make here are also incredibly beneficial, perhaps more so than the space itself.”
This was certainly true for Ayers, who says working with a fellow BendTECH business DubsLabs helped Apricity become known in the audio industry.
“Working with DubsLabs really raised our profile in the audio community, and it allowed us to get our foot in the door there,” he says. “Since then, we’ve been fortunate to add other audio clients, including some of best and largest audio companies in the world.”
But Apricity isn’t focused entirely on commercial projects. They recently worked with the nonprofit Roddenberry Foundation to enhance the solar technology used to power water purification and communications in rural areas and communities struck by natural disasters, areas of expertise with which Ayers is familiar thanks to his pre-Apricity career as an engineer at MIT’s Lincoln Labs.
“There aren’t many companies doing what we do,” Ayers says. “As we grow, our goal is to help organizations with software and electrical engineering needs for all kinds of products and tools. It’s great to be able to use our background in research and experimentation to solve problems in the real world.”
Apricity has now joined the group of impressive BendTECH Alumni as they’ve moved to their new office in Northwest Crossing.
To learn more about Apricity, visit their website, https://apricitycode.com/
To learn more about the BendTECH coworking space, visit https://bendtech.com