The maker of a small, energy efficient desktop computer is looking to hire 500 people for its Utah operations, an investment the state calculates at $32 million.
The board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) on Thursday approved $2 million worth of tax rebate incentives for Xi3 Corp., the builder of the Xi3 modular computer.
The incentives were conditioned on the Salt Lake City-based company completing plans to hire up to 500 people over the next five years —at wages at least 25 percent or higher above the average wage Salt Lake County, which in fiscal year 2012 is $43,468.
Aaron Rowsell, chief operating officer, said the company has seen widespread demand in its products and is expanding to keep up with its growth. The planned hiring and investment will be focused in Salt Lake County, but he said the company had not decided whether expand beyondits downtown Salt Lake City offices to another facility.
"We’ve been getting a ton of interest not only in the U.S. but all over the world," said Rowsell. "We’ve got opportunities to grow worldwide and that’s going to require a lot of infrastructure and support here in Utah."
It has already recently added 10 new employers and plans to hire additional engineers, industrial designers and marketing and sales people. Roswell said Xi3 also hired a vice president of human resources for its management team.
The GOED Board of Directors approved what is called Economic Development Tax Increment Financing for Xi3, which will give the company a yearly credit of 20 percent of the state tax revenues paid in the previous tax year — as it meets growth targets.
GOED estimates Xi3 would generate $170 million in new wages and $98 million in new state revenue through corporate income, payroll and sales taxes.
"Xi3’s presence here further enhances our ability to grow the information technology industry and to continue to attract top-notch technology sector jobs to Utah," Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Utah, said in a statement.
Xi3 emerged on to Utah’s technology scene in 2010 with an innovation award from the Consumer Electronics Show and a lot of attention at its booth at the 2011 CES show. Founder and CEO Jason Sullivan had been building the company for a decade prior.
Sullivan’s core idea has been to re-engineer and design the desktop computer to greatly reduce its size, while maintaining power and increasing speed. Its parts are easily interchangeable so the devices can be adapted to numerous uses. The machines fit in shiny aluminum case with sides no bigger than 4 inches.
The devices use about one-fifth the power of a traditional desktop computer, making them attractive for businesses that use a large number of computers.
The company recently announced a sales deal with D&H Distributing Inc., a computer reseller. Through other companies, Xi3 has provided computers for agencies such as the Department of State, the Navy and Air Force.
Locally, the computers are found in the Springville library and BMW of Murray, said David Politis, chief marketing officer.
The company’s products are manufactured in Arizona.
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