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Sphero Spins Out Company Six Robotic Systems Startup
Friday 22 May 2020

US-based edtech programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools provider Sphero has completed the spin-off of Company Six into an independent company to commercialise intelligent robots and AI-based software applications for first responders, government, defense, and those who work in dangerous situations, the company said.

Former Sphero COO Jim Booth Joins company Six as CEO. Paul Copioli was named new CEO of Sphero, and former CEO Paul Berberian will become chairman of both companies.

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 4m 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.

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 USD 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 three wholly-owned subsidiaries, growing the business nine times over in under a decade.

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.

Sphero inspires the creators of tomorrow through remarkably cool, programmable robots, electronic building blocks, and educational tools that transform the way kids learn and create through coding, science, music, and the arts.
Date Published: 22/05/2020