SOURCE: The Nerdery

The Nerdery

December 03, 2014 12:40 ET

The Nerdery Opens Phoenix Branch, Expanding in Kansas City and Chicago

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - December 03, 2014) - The Nerdery is targeting Phoenix and Kansas City as its third and fourth markets for its growing custom software development business, while the Twin Cities-based tech company plans also to double its Chicago staff in 2015.

In Phoenix, The Nerdery has dispatched a seed-team of Nerds from its Minneapolis headquarters while hiring local talent. Nerdery president Tom O'Neill told Phoenix Business Journal The Nerdery plans to hire 150 Nerds in Phoenix in the next four years. In Kansas City, The Nerdery will earn incentives from the Missouri Works Program for adding 100 jobs to its current KC staff over the next five years. With a current Chicago staff of 52, The Nerdery also intends to have more than 100 web pros in its Chicago office by the end of 2015.

Growth in markets beyond its MPLS headquarters is part of The Nerdery's strategy to scale effectively by branching out to leverage smaller independent offices, of which there will be more. "Growing larger by keeping it small is one of our key strategies for keeping Nerds engaged, motivated and growing in their skills and career," said O'Neill. The Nerdery has a combined staff of 525 Nerds (or, interactive design/development professionals) creating websites, mobile and social-media applications.

Nerdery doubling-down in Chicago
As recently-recruited Chicago Branch Director Don Durbin told Illinois Tech Association, "While Chicago has rarely been thought of as a tech mecca, I think we are on the brink of emerging as a leading technology center. I'm extremely optimistic. In Chicago we have a history of making things. And I think there's a pragmatic element to Chicago's tech industry."

An ad-agency vet with 20+ years in tech including leadership positions at the likes of AOL and Digitas, Durbin said he joined The Nerdery, "to get closer to the actual development of the technology that enables ideas to come to life."

The Nerdery's key leadership acquisition of Durbin -- along with its recent 50% square-footage increase in Fulton Market neighborhood office space -- signals the company's intent to significantly grow its presence, headcount, market share and nerd cred in Chicago.

"I think the track record shows that much of the energy in Chicago tech works to solve problems and meet unfulfilled needs -- sometimes needs that we don't even realize we have," added Durbin. "I think the combination of this pragmatism working in tandem with innovative thinking portends a bright future."

Nerdery goes west to Phoenix
"We see the third fastest-growing major U.S. city with a strong entrepreneurial environment and promising business and technical recruiting possibilities," said Phoenix Managing Director Mike Johnson. "Strategizing new markets, we look beyond business opportunities. The talent is here, and with a high density of students and millennials we see only upside in moving here, and moving fast." 

Johnson began his Nerdery career as a programmer and founded the company's User Experience Design practice before becoming VP of Strategic Services. "Mike's proven ability to apply design thinking to resolve complicated business problems makes him the perfect Nerd to lead us into Arizona," said Nerdery President Tom O'Neill. "We chose him to bring a startup mentality to a Phoenix branch we consider an independent lab -- his and ours."

Committed to pro-bono service for nonprofits needing better websites, Johnson and O'Neill are veterans of multiple Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge events, through which volunteer web pros have donated about $5 million in services to 144 nonprofits. The Nerdery is committed to bringing this service initiative to all communities where its Nerds live and work.

"The recent expansion of The Nerdery speaks to the strength of the large talent pool and existing entrepreneurial culture that exists in the region," said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. "It's an exciting time in the region, as more and more tech companies are choosing Greater Phoenix for their expansion destination, and we are thrilled to welcome The Nerdery."

"We'll proactively immerse ourselves into Arizona's tech community and build community in design/development circles through active involvement in tech user groups," said Johnson. "We took a long look at several cities and decided Phoenix was our best opportunity for establishing our next branch. Coming into an emerging tech scene that's growing just as fast as we are as a company, we'll fit right in." The Nerdery will office at CO+HOOTS until finding its own space to nerdify.

Commitment for Kansas City growth
Through Missouri's Statewide Works program, The Nerdery will earn nearly $2.3 million in incentives for adding 100 high-paying jobs to its KC roster over the next five years. The Nerdery's project includes a $4.3 million capital investment and millions more in new wages for its growing workforce.

"I am thrilled The Nerdery, a company consistently on local and national lists for the fastest growing and best places to work, chose Kansas City, Mo., as a growth market," said Mayor Sly James. "It is very satisfying to see that our talent, resource infrastructure and vibrant lifestyle continue to attract such high quality players in the innovation sector."

Having outgrown its original KC office, The Nerdery in October relocated to a larger, permanent location -- as anchor tenant of the historic Western Union Building at 100 E. 7th St.

"There is a lot of opportunity for The Nerdery in Kansas City," said O'Neill. "With the great talent pool of potential Nerds and support network available to us, KC is an exceptional location to further our work here -- and to further our vision to be the best place in the world for Nerds to work."

"More and more companies like The Nerdery are finding that Missouri's strong tech infrastructure, thriving communities, and talented workforce make the Show-Me State a perfect destination for innovative companies to succeed," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "The Nerdery has set down strong roots in Kansas City, and it is very exciting to watch them grow."

Bob Marcusse, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council, said, "We are so proud of the regional partnership that made the case for The Nerdery to expand their KC office. Today's announcement is one more example that Kansas City is a hot spot for innovative companies that want to attract and retain top IT and tech talent."

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Mo., partnered with a number of regional organizations to tell Kansas City's story as a location for high-growth organizations including the Kansas City Area Development Council; KCnext -- The Technology Council of Greater Kansas City; the City of Kansas City, Mo., Metropolitan Community College, the State of Missouri -- Office of Gov. Jay Nixon; Missouri Department of Economic Development; and the Downtown Council.

About The Nerdery
Founded by three programming pioneers in 2003, The Nerdery is professional home of 500+ web developers, UX designers, QA engineers and other Nerds creating custom interactive technology to solve clients' unique business needs, including websites, mobile and social-media app development. The Nerdery has made Inc. Magazine's list of fastest growing private companies for seven straight years, and received Inc.'s Hire Power Award for year-to-year job growth. Mike Derheim, CEO and co-founder of The Nerdery, recently gave a TEDx Talk, "What if everyone at your company was a Co-President," articulating his belief that empowerment and distributed leadership lead to high levels of employee engagement -- which in turn leads to every positive indicator any business could want. Aspiring Co-Presidents interested in the programming and project management opportunities with The Nerdery can learn more at The Nerdery marked its 10th anniversary in 2013 by launching a commemorative coin etched with company core values and vision into space.

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