Omaha tech firm MindMixer moving to downtown KC

04/15/2014 11:06 AM

04/15/2014 11:06 AM

MindMixer, a growing tech firm founded two years ago in Omaha, Neb., has found a new home in the Crossroads Arts District of downtown and expects to employ 85 people.

The business specializes in hosting interactive online sites for companies, governments and others that want to present information and get feedback from consumers and clients. The firm has more than 700 clients around the country, including the Kansas City streetcar program.

MindMixer already has a small operation at 1627 Main St. with about 20 people and plans to consolidate its headquarters operation in Omaha along with another operation in Lincoln, Neb., at its site in Kansas City. The firm employs about 50 people now in Nebraska, and the majority are expected to move to Kansas City.

Company officials say they were attracted to Kansas City and the Crossroads area in particular because of its existing pool of talented tech workers and its creative environment. The firm also was wooed with $1.6 million in state tax incentives.

MindMixer has been honored in Omaha, receiving the 2013 Innovator of Year award from the Chamber of Commerce there, and Technology Company of the Year honor from the AIM Institute, an Omaha-based organization that supports the tech industry.

“We’re a proud Midwestern company, but in order to sustain growth we needed to be in a location with a skilled workforce that meets the needs of our high-tech business,” Nick Bowden, co-founder and CEO of MindMixer, said in a statement Monday. “That’s where Kansas City comes in. This community already has an abundance of experienced workers, and the talent pool only seems to be getting bigger.”

The other co-founder is Nathan Preheim, chief operating officer of MindMixer.

Other cities considered for the company’s operations included Omaha and the Silicon Valley area of California. In a statement, MindMixer cited Kansas City’s urban setting, existing information technology talent availability and appeal to attracting new talent as assets.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said the city had good experience with the firm’s ability to capture public opinion through what he described as its civic technology platform.

“This is an example of an innovative company choosing to make its home in an innovative city,” James said in a statement. “I’m certain their employees and clients will find their location on the downtown streetcar line an added bonus.”

Applicants interested in jobs with MindMixer should go to a website operated by Metropolitan Community College at mindmixer.mcckc.edu.

The firm’s decision to come to Kansas City also was assisted by several state and local agencies, including the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, the Missouri Partnership and the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

“MindMixer’s choice to establish its headquarters in Kansas City is a tribute to our region’s fast-growing reputation as a great technology ecosystem,” Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Area Development Council, said in a statement.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said state incentives had been offered to MindMixer. If the company meets strict job creation and investment criteria, it could access up to $1,656,450 through the Missouri Works program.

MindMixer is the latest tech firm to move to the Crossroads area in recent years. Brightergy Solar, a solar power systems firm, moved to 1617 Main St. from Lenexa in 2012, and RareWire, a software firm specializing in iPad applications, relocated from Prairie Village in 2012 to the same building where MindMixer is. SCD Probiotics, a biotech firm, also is based at 1627 Main.

MindMixer was represented by Chuck Conneally of Waterford Properties on its real estate search. The building landlord was represented by Brad Nicholson of Nicholson Development.

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