Gainesville Startup Feathr Moves into New, Dynamic Office Space in Innovation SquareJune 4th, 2016 by gainesvillechamber
Feathr, the event marketing cloud, has announced a deal with local Innovation Square developer Trimark Properties for a new, cutting-edge office for their company headquarters. In doing so, Feathr chose to stay in Gainesville instead of moving to a bigger tech hub like New York, Austin, or Boulder.
Who is Feathr?
Feathr’s marketing cloud is the only digital marketing platform built specifically for the needs of event professionals. Feathr’s software allows event organizers to easily connect with their attendees and exhibitors through behavioral marketing. Event marketers receive updates on schedules and rooms, share a profile, and manage several events through an interactive digital profile that consolidates their contact information, social networks, and web properties into a touch-optimized format built for smartphones. Feathr’s software currently powers more than 200 events in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Australia, and other countries.
Co-founders Aidan Augustin and Aleksander Levental realized that the competition for talent hires is fierce in big tech hubs like Austin and New York. According to Augustin, “There were so many small software companies there; we were dime a dozen.”
Conversely, Feathr is a “very big fish in a small pond” in Gainesville due to the smaller number of local startups and established companies, relative to the size of the talent pool. In Gainesville, Feathr can also take advantage of personal and professional contacts built up during their early days in the Florida Innovation Hub, as well as connections within the individual colleges at the University of Florida.
“Gainesville and the University of Florida are uniquely supportive of local companies. You don’t see the level of support in other cities that you see in Gainesville. In terms of recruitment, it’s priceless. There are career days just for local companies; they have ‘stay in the swamp’; they have many different things which encourage the top students at the University of Florida to meet local companies. UF supports this directly,” explained Augustin. This support played a major role in their decision to keep Feathr headquartered in Gainesville.
Successful companies like Feathr create a lot of jobs in Gainesville, especially for recent University of Florida graduates, making a large economic impact in the Gainesville community. In turn, the University of Florida and the Gainesville community encourage these businesses to remain in the city and continue to hire local talent. It’s a symbiotic relationship that is beneficial for the Gainesville economy, the individual businesses, the Gainesville population, and the University, which sees increases in hire rates as local companies grow and place more graduates.
“We definitely had a preference for the Innovation Square area,” said Levental, CEO and co-founder of Feathr. Innovation Square is located walking distance from both the University of Florida campus and downtown Gainesville. Innovation Square is also home to other tech companies like Mindtree, Parisleaf, SharpSpring and Mobiquity which greatly adds to the feeling of a tight-knit, innovative community. Gainesville is home to many programs in the community that boost the growth of small businesses like Feathr. For instance, the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub is a successful incubator where many companies like Feathr first get their start.
“We knew scaling and growing the company in Gainesville would be best for us,” said Levental. “It’s a more supportive community and there’s more opportunity here for us.”
Feathr will move into its 1,940 square feet office space at 102 SW 6th Street which neighbors other tech companies Fracture and Starter Space. The office building that they chose is just steps away from the Florida Innovation Hub, where the Feathr team has been working since their return from Austin, Texas, in 2015, when they graduated from the Capital Factory accelerator. Feathr’s new office space in Innovation Square will allow them to continue hiring more employees while remaining in the heart of the Gainesville startup scene. Augustin and Levental leased the space from Trimark Properties.
John Fleming, managing partner at Trimark Properties said, “When companies like Feathr graduate from the Florida Innovation Hub, they want a space that is going to mimic the collaborative, open, inspirational culture of the company that they are creating– a space where they can bring clients, employees, and colleagues, and be proud of where they work.”
Augustin said that the office attracted Feathr because “bringing employees into a nice space where they can envision themselves working makes a huge difference during recruitment.”
Trimark Properties has emerged as a principal player in the development of Innovation Square by renovating preexisting commercial real estate and adding new, state-of-the-art buildings to the area immediately adjacent to the Innovation Square core. Trimark partners with the companies looking to move into the Innovation Square neighborhood, providing custom-designed offices with modern design elements. During the design process, Trimark meets with the CEOs, co-founders, and operational teams, assesses how they do business, and Trimark then designs a floorplan that is perfectly molded to their specific, individual needs. As a result, Trimark’s modern office space is more efficient on a per-square-foot basis than other office space that is located on the perimeter of Gainesville, in more isolated office parks.
In the case of Feathr, that meant designing an office building that provided an open work area, while balancing that open, collaborative space with private offices and breakout rooms. Feathr also wanted a space that matched its branding. Trimark successfully incorporated Feathr’s logo into an accent wall above two offices with sleek, glass-front walls. By utilizing glass-front walls, they added privacy without isolating the team members working inside the rooms. The design team used the accent colors from Feathr’s logo in the trimwork and added small but eye-catching finishes that supported the company branding, such as the logomark within a glass panel in a room divider. Combined with the elevated ceilings, exposed ductwork, and other contemporary design elements, the overall effect is eye-popping and unique. Potential hires interviewing within Feathr’s new office are unlikely to forget it, and that’s part of the appeal for companies like Feathr when they are moving into Innovation Square.
Feathr began moving into their new office space this week. It has received more than $2 million in venture capital funding which will allow the company to continue its growth and development as the go-to marketing platform for even professionals.