A medical device company setting up shop on the Seacoast is the latest business Gov. Chris Sununu is pointing to as a success story from his effort to promote the state to “100 Businesses in 100 Days” earlier this year.
Until recently, DermSpectra was based in Arizona, with an office in California. Its founder, Karleen Seybold, said Sununu's office connected with her in January about relocating here.
“He was just very excited about it,” Seybold said at a Tuesday night event in Portsmouth celebrating the company’s move. “What could he do to help us, you know, in terms of growing our business? What the opportunities would be here and the educational system here could contribute, what we could do as a company to grow with the state.”
Seybold and Linda Fanaras, the company’s executive vice president, both have ties to the state that predate Sununu’s efforts.
“DSI is here in New Hampshire for two reasons,” Fanaras told attendees at the launch event. “Number one, we wanted to support New Hampshire with new jobs and opportunity. And number two, both Karleen and I grew up here. And like many of you, we went to parties together, and proms together, and double dates and so on and so forth.”
Fanaras has also worked here for the last two decades. She currently runs a Manchester-based marketing company and chairs the Board of Directors for the state’s Business and Industry Association.
“We wanted to do something big, something meaningful and something with social impact,” Fanaras said.
For now, Seybold said the company is down to about 10 employees as it moves to its new location, but the plan is to expand to about 100 in the year ahead, with local positions in “software, electrical engineering, business, finance, sales and operations.” Right now, the company is setting up shop in the UNH Innovation Research Center but is eyeing a more permanent space in the Pease Tradeport.
As for the product itself: DermSpectra looks kind of like a full body airport scanner, but it’s meant to take photos of patients to track changes in their skin for signs of skin cancer or other problems. The company says it plans to lease machines to doctors offices and other medical facilities.
“We’re not asking for anything other than
In terms of the 100 Businesses in 100 Days, I don’t know an exact number. For example, I know we met with BAO that has come up here. We met with a couple Canadian companies. Some are down here officially, some are still in the moving process…
Upon completion of his “100 Businesses in 100 Days” campaign to meet with 100 out-of-state businesses in hopes of drawing them to set up shop in New Hampshire, Sununu’s office released a summary report but not the full list of companies he courted.
On Tuesday, the governor said he wasn’t sure, offhand, how many of those businesses were currently in the process of relocating – but he was optimistic that DermSpectra wouldn’t be the last.
“We knew it was going to be six months to a three-year process, basically. Because asking a company to pick up and move is a big ask,” Sununu said. “I don’t know what the exact number is, but the response has been very positive, and we’ve just got to keep pushing. And it isn’t just 100 Businesses in 100 Days. Every day we should be out there striving to grab businesses and grab more workforce.”