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App start-up iRule moves downtown after Compuware investment

The Farmington Hills-based iRule isn’t based in Farmington Hills anymore. The app start-up now calls the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit home after accepting one of Compuware’s first venture capital investments.

The 3-year-old start-up developed an app that allows users to turn their iPhones into a universal remote for their home theater. It launched in early 2010 as a side project for Itai Ben-Gal and Victor Nemirovsky. Earlier this year they quit their jobs to pursue iRule full-time and began raising seed capital. Compuware’s newly launched venture capital arm led the seed round, coming on as an investor and strategic partner offering inexpensive office space in a growing tech cluster.

"For us, we didn’t want to be a high-tech start-up in an office park with dentists and a lawyer and real-estate guys," says Ben-Gal, CEO of iRule. "It’s hard to bounce ideas off a real-estate guy at the water cooler. The building itself was less of a draw then the people in it. We get to use Compuware as a development partner."

Since making the move in June, iRule has grown to six employees and two people on loan from Compuware. It recently hired three people and is looking to fill a few more positions. Ben-Gal expects his firm to double in size again within the next year.

Source: Itai Ben-Gal, CEO of iRule
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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