Auticon, Leading Global Technology Employer for Autistic Professionals, Expands Worldwide Reach with Acquisition of U.S. Company MindSpark, Inc.

Companies Unite to Become the World’s Leading Technology Business Leveraging Deep IT Expertise and Exceptional Cognitive Skills of its Autistic Employees to Offer Unique Service for Corporate Customers

LOS ANGELES , June 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Auticon, the award-winning, leading global technology employer for autistic professionals, has announced its entry into the U.S. market via the acquisition of U.S.-based MindSpark, Inc. This acquisition makes Auticon the world’s leading employer of adults on the autism spectrum offering exceptional quality work within the information technology industry for its customers. The combined enterprise, to be known as Auticon, will leverage the unique strengths of each company, offering services such as business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development and migration, as well as quality assurance and testing.

MindSpark, Inc. will join Auticon, offering its strong U.S. presence and expertise in delivering high quality remote software testing services. With Los Angeles offices in Santa Monica and Culver City, California, MindSpark, Inc. currently employs 25 individuals with autism who serve major clients and brands in the entertainment, financial services, technology and consumer products industries. The customer base of Auticon includes top European Fortune 500 companies, such as BMW Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Allianz, Lufthansa, Siemens, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Through the acquisition of MindSpark, Auticon will continue to expand its portfolio of clients with major U.S. companies and will be able to serve its global customers in Europe and the U.S.

“The success of both MindSpark and Auticon proves that our employees with autism are highly skilled. The growing global demand for tech jobs can be met by utilizing this underemployed and talented workforce. Merging the Auticon and MindSpark business models will create many more rewarding careers for individuals with autism” said Gary Benoist, President of MindSpark, Inc.

“Despite being highly qualified, only 15 to 20 percent of people with autism are employed in the mainstream workforce,” said Kurt Schöffer, CEO of Auticon. “The acquisition of MindSpark supports Auticon expanding on its mission to bring awareness to neurodiversity while creating distinguished career opportunities for adults with autism. We look forward to accelerating employment opportunities in tech and consulting for the exceptionally talented and skilled adults on the autism spectrum."

Auticon is backed by some of the most influential investors and family offices in Europe, including Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Susanne and Felix Porsche, Stephen Brenninkmeijer (C&A), Ananda Impact Ventures, and Yabeo Capital. Existing and new investors – e.g. Ferd Social Entrepreneurs of Norway and Alexander Andre de la Porte (Rockmelon) – have increased their commitment to further enable the expansion of Auticon globally.

“Adults with autism can offer incredible value in future technologies such as AI and machine learning,” said Felix Porsche, investor of Auticon. “The continued expansion of Auticon into the U.S. and many other countries will continue to support the appreciation for autistic individuals contributing to the workplace with their exceptional abilities within the technology and business environment.”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, says, “We’ve already seen Auticon achieve great success in the UK and Germany. I’m excited to see the expansion internationally and into the United States. Auticon is a business with purpose at its core and everyone at Virgin is proud to be part of their journey as they continue to make a positive difference to lives around the world.”

A leading employer of people with autism across the globe, Auticon recognizes that employees on the spectrum often possess skills that are beneficial in the IT and technology field, including pattern recognition, error detection, fraud prevention, logical analysis, sustained concentration, and attention to detail. Since its inception in 2011, Auticon has significantly developed and broadened its portfolio of services and solutions in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technologies, test automation, data mining and crime prevention.

Auticon has successfully expanded in Western Europe, opening seven locations in Germany and affiliates in France, Switzerland and the U.K. With the acquisition of MindSpark, Inc., Auticon establishes a strong U.S. platform to allow the company to accelerate growth first on the West Coast and then to cities across the United States. In addition to the U.S., the company plans further locations in Europe, in Canada and in Australia.

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About Auticon/MindSpark
Auticon is an IT and compliance consulting business and the first enterprise to exclusively employ adults on the autism spectrum as IT consultants. MindSpark, Inc. leverages demand for outsourced IT services to drive social change and create careers in high-tech for people with specialized abilities, improving their self-sufficiency and quality of life. Auticon supports autistic adults with Job Coaches and Project Managers and produces a win-win-win situation for clients, autistic consultants, as well as society. Auticon was founded in Berlin in November 2011 with investment from the Munich and London-based Ananda Impact Ventures. Auticon employs more than 150 IT consultants on the autism spectrum and is the first enterprise to scale this model across Europe and worldwide. The shareholders appointed Kurt Schöffer as CEO in 2013 to grow and expand the social enterprise. An international entrepreneur in the IT, energy and media sectors, Kurt was also an original investor in Auticon. Managing Director of Auticon U.S./MindSpark, Inc. is Rebecca Beam, a leading woman in tech for the last 20+ years.

Valeria Velasco