Skyepack, a Purdue University-affiliated company that offers a cost-effective alternative to college textbooks, announced plans today to scale up its operations in Indiana to support the growth of its interactive learning platform.
“Indiana is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem where companies like Skyepack can scale up their business and create jobs for Hoosiers,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “It’s evident that Skyepack continues to find a winning solution here in Indiana, taking advantage of our state’s business-friendly environment, growing tech sector and skilled workforce supported by world-class universities.”
Skyepack, which recently moved into the Kurz Purdue Technology Center in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, launched its mobile and web platform in 2014 to reduce the cost of textbooks for students at colleges and universities across the U.S. By working directly with faculty members, the company creates custom course packages tailored to the needs of professors and students. Skyepack delivers content design services beyond traditional text and images, including interactive features, video, embedded course discussions, customized coding, student feedback and question-and-answer functions.
The company currently works with instructors at more than 60 campuses across the U.S. To support increased demand and planned growth, Skyepack plans to invest nearly $295,000 in its Tippecanoe County operations and create up to 51 new, high-wage jobs by 2020. The company, which employs more than 10 associates, has already added three team members in Indiana and is hiring for positions in management, product development, sales and marketing. New positions are expected to offer average salaries above the state and county average wage. Interested applicants may apply online.
“We work with faculty to first understand their course, what they are teaching and what the key objectives are. Then we learn about their assessment strategy, the teaching methodologies they are using and other aspects of the class,” said Brady Kalb, chief executive officer at Skyepack. “We also work to understand the needs of students. The needs of the students at Purdue, for example, are different from the needs of students at Ivy Tech. So we take all of those things into account.”
Skyepack has instructional designers who work directly with faculty members to help them transition their students from traditional textbooks to its engaging, easily-accessible and affordable platform. In fact, the average course material price at Skyepack is only $35. Using Skyepack, professors can tailor material to their individual needs, compose original content and retain the necessary copyrights, allowing them to spend more time on instruction and research rather than with textbook publishers.
“Tippecanoe County is honored to be able to partner with Skyepack and offer them job training funds for their expansion,” said Tom Murtaugh, president of the Tippecanoe County Commissioners.
The IEDC offered Skyepack up to $725,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The company also received $89,000 from the Greater Lafayette Commerce Training grant program.
Skyepack works directly with college faculty members, departments and universities to create fairly-priced custom course packages delivered to students through the Skyepack web and mobile platform. To create these custom course packages, the company leverages open source content, content the faculty member has already created, inexpensive content licensed from third parties and content created by Skyepack’s instructional designers. Skyepack’s goal is to make the transition from the “textbook ecosystem” to fairly-priced course content simple and efficient for all faculty members. For more information about Skyepack, visit www.skyepack.com.
About Purdue Research Park
The Purdue Research Park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in five sites across the state of Indiana with locations in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 5,000 people. In 2016, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities co-named the Purdue Research Park a top recipient for an Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about leasing space in the Purdue Research Park, contact 765-588-3470 or click Purdue Research Park.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. Governed by a 15-member board chaired by Governor Eric J. Holcomb, the IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts. For more information about the IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.