| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter

Founders

Company

Arbor Networks

2727 S State St
Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Rob Malan

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
Arbor Networks received a state tax credit for expanding our R&D and engineering facility in Ann Arbor. The city of Ann Arbor also provided a property tax abatement to support the project. These are great incentives for any business to stay and invest in Ann Arbor.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
A company called Velocita, which is no longer in business, was our first paying customer. We were introduced to them by one of our institutional investors.

Where did you find your first employee?
The first several were fellow students from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. I co-founded Arbor Networks with Farnam Jahanian, who at that time was chair of the Computer Science and Engineering program at the university. Most of the initial employees came through that program.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
This is always something that we try and do, provide opportunities for growth within the company. This has happened a number of times in Ann Arbor and at our corporate headquarters in Chelmsford, MA. I think that is one reason why we have a lot of people who have been here for five even ten years now.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Arbor Networks is very fortunate to have had only two rounds of financing, both very early in our history, back in 2002. We raised a total of $33 million from investors such as Battery Ventures, Thomas Weisel and Cisco and others. Those have been our primary source of financing prior to our acquisition in 2010.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
The support and partnership with government at the state and local level, the Michigan Economic Development Council, Ann Arbor SPARK, etc, has been fantastic. There is a great pool of engineering talent in Ann Arbor. Also, as I've traveled increasingly over the years, I've come to realize what a great location Ann Arbor is. Ninety nine-percent of our customers are outside the state of Michigan (more than 60 percent outside U.S.).  Detroit Metro is a fantastic airport, it gets me where I want to go in one hop.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Change legal landscape to match California's.

Signup for Email Alerts