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Ephibian Pioneers Venture Technology Concept

by Sandra Helsel

Ephibian is an Internet services firm specializing in infrastructure, application development and management services for Fortune 1000 corporations and technology startups. Founded in 1996, Ephibian maintains a development center in Tucson and operates business development centers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago and New York. Ephibian maintains a strict focus on the back-end issues for client companies that compete in the Internet marketplace.

Two years ago, CEO Teri Spencer developed the novel concept of "venture technology," which is the acceptance of equity in exchange for deferring or reducing fees for technology development. The cost of quality back-end web development in today's market is expensive and out of reach for many technology startups who have not secured funding at the venture capital or institutional level. In addition, many promising startups have reported that the recent market correction has led many venture firms to demand to see at least some technology development before considering making an investment. Since having just a business plan isn't enough anymore, many startups find themselves in a "chicken and egg" dilemma - unable to raise money because their technology isn't developed, and unable to develop their technology without the cash to pay for it. These needs combined with the potential upside associated with an IPO or acquisition, led Ephibian to develop the venture technology model. Similar services for equity models exist in other industries.

Ephibian's first venture technology company, Fitrex was acquired by a leading health and fitness portal Asimba. Other Ephibian venture technology partners include contest and sweepstakes portal, retirement plan management company Decimal, Inc., and web based fuel management company