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Shepherd Intelligent Systems doubles staff, expands mass-transit tech offerings

Shepherd Intelligent Systems has its sights set on some bigger offerings on a bigger stage, thanks in part to a recent cash infusion from the Michigan Microloan Fund.

The Ann Arbor-based startup, which calls the Tech Brewery home, was one of three companies to receive $145,000 in microloans. It will use its cut to expand product offerings. That cash will also help the software firm
break into new markets with its mass transit-oriented products.

"This will help us get out of the Midwest and push out to the coasts and the south," says Adrian Fortino, CEO of Shepherd Intelligent Systems. The almost-2-year-old startup has three customers in the Midwest, he says, and this new expansion should push that number up to 20 by the end of 2011.

Shepherd Intelligent Systems is commercializing the University of Michigan's Magic Bus program. That software, tested by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority earlier this year, allows system riders to follow bus progress on their smart phones. Users can see where their bus is on real-time maps and estimate times of arrival. The company plans to add a few more bells and whistles to this technology so it can sell it to other types of vehicle fleets, such as operational fleets at cities or airports.

"They're going to have different product platforms for each of these segments," Fortino says.

Shepherd Intelligent Systems has steadily grown its staff since its inception. Today it has seven employees, two independent contractors, and an intern. That's up from a staff of five people last spring. It hopes to continue hiring here and there in 2011.

Source: Adrian Fortino, CEO of Shepherd Intelligent Systems
Writer: Jon Zemke

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  • Shepherd Intelligent Systems
    1327 Jones Dr.
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Website
    The Magic Bus technology offered by Shepherd Intelligent Systems is a full fleet management and rider interface system for public and private vehicle fleets. It provides easily accessible & reliable, real-time vehicle information (location and ...