Reading time ( words)
Sphero, the industry leader in edtech programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools, announced that it has successfully completed the spin-off of Company Six into an independent company to commercialize intelligent robots and AI-based software applications for first responders, government, defense, and those who work in dangerous situations.
Company Six started as Sphero’s Public Safety Division, brought to life from Paul Berberian’s and Jim Booth’s backgrounds in military service and their passion for providing innovative tools for first responders and those who put themselves in harm's way. By applying the experience used to bring more than 4 million robots to market at Sphero, the Company Six team believes it can create products that are not only robust and feature-rich enough for professional applications, but also affordable enough to be adopted by the majority, rather than the minority, of civilian and military personnel.
Former Sphero COO Jim Booth will lead the Company Six team as CEO, and is joined by several members of the original Sphero team.
“Our team is excited to build critically-needed robotic hardware and advanced software solutions that help first responders and people with dangerous jobs,” says Booth. “Our mission is to build powerful and affordable technology that we can put in the hands of as many people as possible.”
Booth was one of the early mentors to Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, Sphero’s two co-founders, as part of the Techstars Boulder Accelerator 2010 class. He joined Sphero after the Techstars program and helped launch and scale the company and managed numerous key areas, including operations, HR, legal, sales, finance, marketing, and business development.
In connection with the spinout and formation of Company Six, they also closed a $3M seed investment round led by Spider Capital, with participation from existing Sphero investors including Foundry Group, Techstars, as well as new investor GAN Ventures to fund commercialization and market entry of their initial products. At Company Six, the founding team is continuing to develop groundbreaking and affordable robotic technology as they have done over the past 10 years with Sphero. The products and services they will deliver to this new market are essential to maintaining safety, situational awareness,and improving decision making in the field for critical incidents and everyday operating environments.
In conjunction with Company Six spinning off, the board of directors has named Paul Copioli the Chief Executive Officer of Sphero, effective immediately.
Copioli joined Sphero in August 2019 after Sphero joined forces with New York-based littleBits, the company that invented the snap-together electronic building blocks that teach the foundations of circuitry and STEAM, where he served as President and COO. Before littleBits, Paul was the president of VEX Robotics for more than nine years. During his tenure with VEX, Paul led the company to become the largest and most successful of Innovation First International's (IFI) three wholly-owned subsidiaries, growing the business nine times over in under a decade.
“It’s an honor to lead the Sphero team as we continue to pave the way for accessible robots, STEAM and computer science education for kids around the world,” says Copioli. “With our focus on education and our mission to inspire the creators of tomorrow, Sphero has a long-standing place in our school systems and beyond. Paul Berberian’s immense contribution to the company leaves me with a strong leadership model to carry forward, and I look forward to Sphero’s continued success.”
Berberian, Sphero’s former CEO, will move into the newly designated role of Chairman after more than a decade leading the Boulder-based company. Berberian will also preside over Company Six as the team brings to market both advanced robotic products and a cloud-based analytics and monitoring platform designed to advance the awareness of those who put themselves into harm’s way.
“In my time as Sphero’s CEO I was amazed by the number of kids’ lives we positively affected by bringing our robots into classrooms and living rooms worldwide,” says Berberian. As Chairman of both Sphero and Company Six, this is an opportunity to continue to bring revolutionary robotics technology to new markets to improve the lives of more people, our future leaders, and people with essential and sometimes dangerous job functions. With Paul Copioli and Jim Booth’s experience, I’m confident both companies will flourish under their leadership.”