Shepherd Intelligent Systems hires in downtown Ann Arbor

Shepherd Intelligent Systems is on a bit of a roll. The Ann Arbor-based start-up is enjoying a rave review, adding staff and getting ready to lock down a few new customers later this year.

The University of Michigan spin-off turned the university's Magic Bus program into a tracking system riders could use follow their bus' progress on their smart phones. Users can see where their bus is on real-time maps and estimate times of arrival.

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority recently wrapped up its pilot project with Shepherd Intelligent Systems rider-friendly software after extending the pilot program a couple months. Mary Stasiak, a spokeswoman for AATA, used words like "wonderful" and "valuable" to describe the pilot program that ran along Route 6.

"AATA sees the value of a bus tracking system for our riders and will be using our competitive procurement process to implement this type of product fleet-wide in the future," Stasiak said in a press release.

The nearly 1-year-old start-up has added one person to its downtown Ann Arbor-based staff, rounding it out to five people. It is gearing up for a big expansion within the next year by hiring 10-15 people.

Shepherd Intelligent Systems has a couple Beta customers testing out its product right now. It's also negotiating with two potential clients, one of which is close to coming to fruition.

"At least one of them will be announced in the next 6-8 weeks," says Adrian Fortino, CEO of Shepherd Intelligent Systems.

The company started out targeting mostly college towns across North America. Now its trying to diversify its potential client base beyond bus systems to include taxi, limo and municipal clientele.

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