San Francisco-based mobile app developer DoubleDutch announced this week it has picked downtown for its first branch office.
Workforce cluster, proximity and culture, those are the top three reasons rapidly-growing DoubleDutch picked Phoenix for its first branch location. The San Francisco mobile application developer is putting a customer-facing office in downtown Phoenix. The address has not been disclosed because lease negotiations are continuing.
The company chose Phoenix for three key reasons: workforce cluster, proximity and culture, said president and CEO Lawrence Coburn. “Proximity was important. We have a culture in our company where family is important, and wanted a location where going to the office was a day trip,” Coburn said. “I gave it a test run and boarded a flight at 6 in the morning, flew to Phoenix, had meetings, and was home in time for dinner with my family.”
Coburn said the company wanted a market within three to four hours of San Francisco. That narrowed their search. DoubleDutch is a mobile software development company creating a mobile event application used by groups like American Express, major conventions and trade shows, and the Girl Scouts.
“(Arizona State University) was one of our first clients, so I had familiarity with Arizona,” said Coburn. “We even hired ASU interns and were very happy with performance.”
The company also required a workforce with customer-facing experience, Coburn said.
“Phoenix has that with 15,000 ASU graduates each year, and an existing pool of sophisticated workers in that group,” he said.
DoubleDutch expects to hire hundreds at its Phoenix facility in the next few years, Coburn said, but it will start with 25 to 30 initially. Those first workers will handle sales and post-sale client support and training.
The startup also cited the vibe in downtown Phoenix, which also was cited by recent companies landing in the Valley’s central core.
“We came in, walked around downtown, and really liked the vibe,” said Coburn.
Good vibes in downtown Phoenix were called out by Gainsight when it picked the 111 W. Monroe building for its first out-of-state offices. The vibe was also in the forefront for Gabriel Partners selecting downtown for its western U.S. headquarters last month.
“We looked at the other urban areas, Tempe and Scottsdale, but felt that Phoenix had the urban flavor that fit who DoubleDutch is,” said Coburn. “We’re looking for an urban culture, and that’s what we found in downtown Phoenix.”
Another factor was the availability of light rail. Company officials said its proximity was definitely a factor in the site selection. The new office is near light rail. What also attracted the company to the Valley is the effort put forth by Greater Phoenix Economic Council and city of Phoenix to do the deal.
“Everybody worked really hard to make us feel welcome,” Coburn said. “Phoenix connected us with other tech CEOs, like WebPT.” Coburn also said the fact that Phoenix is a new tech market made the downtown more appealing.
“Austin is at its peak,” he said. “We feel like we can be here and help Phoenix hit its stride as a burgeoning tech center. It has an ‘up and coming’ vibe.”