BTR Park Draws iyeTek Back To Kalamazoo
A new member has joined Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park.
IyeTek, an application development company returns to Kalamazoo from its most recent home in Lansing. The company was formed in Kalamazoo by two WMU graduates to create software for the campus police department. IyeTek has joined the BTR Park as a corporate sponsor.
"It was a way to bring the business back in town and help the local economy which has given us so much," said Salman Anwar, co-founder of iyeTek.
BTR Park was formed to attract business in life sciences, information technology and advanced engineering to the Kalamazoo area and Western Michigan University. The park is spread across 137 acres and is a Michigan SmartZone. Being a SmartZone, a percentage of taxes generated by companies within the park are put toward infrastructure upgrades for the park.
IyeTek develops software mostly for law enforcement. Its biggest product is eCitations, which allows for police to pull a car over and run the license tag and driver's license to make sure the information is valid. It also allows for issuing a ticket electronically. The software sends the ticket information to the courts where it is electronically processed and filed. The software also verbally communicates information back to officers as they drive.
"The officer should be doing more policing, rather than filling out reports and citations," said Anwar.
The company has similar software for use with traffic accidents, called eCrash.
IyeTek now occupies 1,300 square feet of the park's Granite Park I building, at 4664 Campus Drive. The move began in early January, bringing six people to the new office, with plans to add five to six employees and interns later. Kalamazoo will serve as the company's headquarters where the programming will be done. The Lansing office will stay open with customer service and sales staff.
IyeTek currently has agencies in Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona and Texas, and sales reps across most of the country. It was drawn to the park for several reasons, including the high-speed CTS Telecom network; the presence of another software development company, Blue Granite; and a partnership between iyeTek and WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
The relationship with WMU has launched a revision of some curriculum and brings fresh technology into the university's educational practices. In return, iyeTek will offer WMU major research projects. The idea is to get students right out of college and offer them jobs.
"We're working with the university's departments of computer information systems and computer science, and talking with them about some research and about the university expanding its course offerings into some of the Microsoft.NET programming that is the basis for the work we do."
Blue Granite and iyeTek will help each other by providing extra hands when one of the companies has an excess of work. Anwar stated that iyeTek signed an initial three-year lease that is automatically renewed as long as Blue Granite stays in the park. The company also has the option of moving around within the park and will look at the option of constructing its own building sometime next year.
Anwar co-founded iyeTek with fellow WMU alumnus Jeremy John. John is currently working toward a master's degree in computer science. Anwar has both a bachelor's and master's degree from WMU and Cyber Crime Investigator certification from Michigan State University.
"We've lived our lives over here, so we're going to give it back here," Anwar said. CQX