July 30--Tucson-based audio Internet company AudioEye Inc. has gone public on the over-the-counter stock market and is looking to grow, a year after spinning off from another company.
Founded in 2003 and located at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park, AudioEye has developed patented Internet software that converts any media into audio for instant delivery to users on any Net-connected device.
In a letter to shareholders last week, AudioEye CEO Nathaniel Bradley formally announced that AudioEye had became an independent, publicly traded company. AudioEye spun off from its parent, CMG Holdings Group, last August, about two years after CMG acquired the Tucson company.
AudioEye now trades on the OTCQB, an over-the-counter stock market, under the ticker symbol "AEYE."
Bradley was formerly chief technology officer for New York-based Augme Technologies, a provider of mobile-marketing and advertising technology that divested its Tucson operations at the UA tech park in March. Bradley's brother, University of Arizona alumnus Sean Bradley, is AudioEye's chief technology officer.
Bradley said AudioEye figures to benefit from a 2010 law that requires Internet sites to be accessible to people with disabilities -- a sort of cyber-American With Disabilities Act.
Compliance with that law, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, became mandatory for government agencies and contractors in October 2012, Bradley said.
And companies including Target Corp. and, more recently, H&R Block have been hit by lawsuits by the National Federation of the Blind for failing to make their websites accessible to the visually impaired, he noted.
In June, AudioEye announced that it had signed a partnership agreement with Maryland-based Affinity Networks to use the local company's audio Web-browsing software for its extensive clientele of government websites.
AudioEye's technology, which uses voice-recognition features to allow users to navigate the Internet, was developed partly with the help of the University of Arizona's nationally ranked Management Information Systems Department.
In April, AudioEye's audio-browsing technology was awarded a Gold Edison Award in the social-impact category.
The UA's MIS department has added the company's audio-browsing feature to its website, mis.eller.arizona.edu
For more information, go to www.audioeye.com
ASCENT TO ADD A320
In other recent local tech news, Ascent Aviation is awaiting final approval to perform maintenance on Airbus A320 jetliners, adding to the array of narrow-body jets the company can work on.
Ascent President Michael Melvin said the company anticipates winning A320 maintenance certification from the Federal Aviation Administration sometime this fall.
The FAA-approved repair station at Tucson International Airport now specializes in maintenance of Boeing 737 and 717, McDonnell Douglas MD80/90, and Bombardier CRJ 100/200 series aircraft.
Ascent already has experience in teardowns of A320s, work that doesn't require specific FAA certification, Melvin noted.
The new certification is seen as a key to growth in business from Latin America, where A320s are prevalent, the company said.
Startup weekend set
Startup Weekend Tucson is set for Sept. 20-22 at Gangplank Tucson, 100 N. Stone Ave. Suite 110.
Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs collaborate to find out if their ideas for startup businesses are viable and polish pitches to potential investors.
Startup Weekends are part of a movement organized nationally in 2007.
The Tucson event is organized by Startup Tucson, which plans to start holding the weekend events twice a year.
Even though the main Tucson event is nearly two months away, a series of pre-events starts Aug. 1 with the introductory "What is Startup Weekend?"
For more information or to register, go to startuptucson.com">startuptucson.com
Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4181.
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