SkySong-Based Company Gets Big Shot at SXSW

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (February 28, 2022) – A company based at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center is getting a big shot on one of the largest stages in the business world.

CIRQ+, Inc., a Smart + Clean Automation company for commercial properties, was selected as a finalist in the Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & Voice category for the 14th annual SXSW Pitch® (formerly SXSW Accelerator). The company will present its autonomous robot technology that disinfects large spaces and helps fight the spread of Covid-19 and other pathogens.

SXSW Pitch is the marquee event of South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals Startups Track, where leading startups from around the world showcase some of the most impressive technology innovations to a panel of hand-picked judges and a live audience. Out of the 655 companies that applied to present at SXSW Pitch 2022 in March, CIRQ+ was selected among the 45 finalists spanning 9 separate categories.

“We are thrilled to share on this global stage how the CIRQ+ team developed CBOT, the world’s first IoT-enabled autonomous disinfecting robot in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said says CIRQ+ Co-Founder and CEO, Yani Deros, who will be presenting. “CBOT helps protect people reentering buildings and spaces against pathogens. The system is positioned to become the new frontline technology to create healthier and safer environments today and for the future.”

CIRQ+ shares its space in SkySong 1 with parent company ATOM Innovation, which has occupied its space in the project since 2012. The company spun off from ATOM Innovation about five years ago and had been focused on creating “commercial smart room” solutions for the hospitality industry when the pandemic hit. They then expanded the capabilities of their AI Platform to create the CBOT and were able to hyper-develop the robot in about eight weeks in response to the crisis.

Since then, the company has been working to deploy into multiple markets including office, healthcare, hospitality and education fields to implement the technology and has secured over $40M in partnership agreements to adopt its robotic technology to protect people and spaces. CBOT’s unique subscription-based model, is more affordable than other robotic disinfecting solutions where a $3.3Bn dollar market is expected in the next few years. Deros said the presentation at SXSW “has already been a difference-maker for us” in attracting interest from potential investors and major partners from around the world.

Deros said that locating at SkySong has been key to the company’s success.

“It’s an impressive facility, which is always first and foremost,” he said. “It gives us access to a variety of conference rooms and meeting spaces, and it allows us to be connected with companies that are coming out of the ASU incubator spaces and other commercial companies to help advance their causes with disruptive innovations.”

Sharon Harper, Chairman and CEO of Plaza Companies, the master developer of the project, said the CIRQ+ story is an exciting addition to SkySong’s strong track record.

“We are always pleased to see success stories come out of SkySong, and this selection for CIRQ+ is yet another example of the innovation taking place at the project,” Harper said. “We congratulate Yani and the CIRQ+ and ATOMinnovation teams on their success and are pleased to help play a part in their growth.”

Plaza Companies is the master developer of SkySong, in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies.

Sally C. Morton, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise, said the focus on technology at SkySong is helping companies such as CIRQ+ thrive.

“This is a tremendous recognition for CIRQ+ and a great example of the type of innovation that takes place every day at SkySong,” Morton said. “The relationship companies at SkySong enjoy with ASU, the country’s most innovative university, is an important part of the success we’re seeing in so many different ways.”

The Coppola Cheney Group of Lee & Associates is SkySong’s leasing broker, and Plaza Companies provides property management services for the project.

SkySong is a 42-acre mixed use development designed to:

  • Create an ecology of collaboration and innovation among high-profile technology enterprises and related researchers;
  • Advance global business objectives of on-site enterprises;
  • Raise Arizona’s profile as a global center of innovation through co-location of ASU’s strategic global partners; and
  • Create a unique regional economic and social asset.

Companies located at SkySong have the opportunity to partner with Arizona State University, which has more than 100,000 students studying across four metropolitan Phoenix campuses, in Lake Havasu City, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. ASU is one of the largest public universities in the nation, with the majority of its students attending its campus in Tempe, Arizona, less than three miles from SkySong.

In addition to locating its own innovative research units at the center, through ASU’s on-site operations, tenant companies have a single point of contact for introductions to researchers, faculty and programs to address their specific needs.

For more information on SkySong, visit or follow developments on Facebook.

About SkySong

Plaza Companies is the developer of the project in partnership with University Realty, the City of Scottsdale and Holualoa Companies. Lee and Associates provides the brokerage services and Plaza del Rio Management Corporation provides the property management and construction services. Architects at SkySong include Pei Cobb Fried and Partners, DMJM Design, Butler Design Group and Kendle Design Collaborative.

About Plaza Companies

With offices in Peoria, Scottsdale and Tucson, Plaza Companies is a full-service real estate firm specializing in the management, leasing and development of medical office and commercial office properties, technology and bioscience facilities, mixed-use properties and senior housing communities. Since 1982, Plaza Companies has established a proud track record as a competitive, connected and conscientious real estate firm with partnerships throughout the industries it serves. For more information, visit

About University Realty

University Realty is a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners, a private, nonprofit organization that creates solutions and generates resources to extend Arizona State University’s reach and advance its charter. For more information, visit

About Holualoa Companies

Holualoa Companies is a real estate investment firm focused on the successful acquisition, repositioning, redevelopment and disposition of real estate assets. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, with offices in Phoenix, Santa Monica, Hawaii and Paris, its investments span the United States and Europe and include office, retail, industrial, multi-family, hotel and mixed-use investment properties. Holualoa is an experienced investor for its own account and on behalf of a select group of private investors.

About the City of Scottsdale

Scottsdale is one of the state’s leading job centers, with a diverse economy built on medical research, high-tech innovation, tourism and corporate headquarters. Scottsdale is home to nearly 18,000 businesses supplying over 150,000 jobs. The high-tech innovation center SkySong, located just a few miles from Downtown, is designed to help companies grow through a unique partnership with nearby Arizona State University. The Scottsdale Cure Corridor is a partnership of premier health care providers and biomedical companies seeking to advance medicine and patient care through cutting-edge research. For more information, visit

About ATOM Innovation

ATOM is a full-service research and product innovation firm specializing in the commercialization of emerging products, technologies, and markets. ATOM has achieved international acclaim and recognition with its advanced development process that continually delivers resounding innovation solutions into a wide range of markets stretching from medical devices, office technology, consumer electronics, industrial equipment, furniture, IoT and wearable technologies. ATOM’s extensive successes and core capabilities deliver world class solutions within compressed timeframes coupled with high expectations on superior usability, design for manufacturing and best in class performance that become differentiators in the marketplace.

About CIRQ+

CIRQ+ is an automation, and robotics platform for commercial properties helping protect people against pathogens while reducing costs with plug and play technology. Powered by an AI Cloud-based platform the system intelligently controls an IoT mesh network of sensor and devices that creates an industry first freestanding Energy Management System that can save 25 – 50% energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. In response to COVID-19, CIRQ+, created CBOT, the world’s first IOT autonomous disinfection robot that eliminates pathogens without manual labor creating healthier and safer spaces for all.

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