Growing tech startup Prosperent will move to Denver in March.
The company, which manages pay-per-sale online advertising for companies like REI, QVS and Zappos told the Business Journal in November that it was having trouble finding talented web programmers to hire in Colorado Springs.
Mike Christensen, company co-founder and president, said employment issues were the primary motivation to consider moving the business to Denver or Boulder.
As Prosperent was growing rapidly, company leaders wanted access to venture capital, which Christensen said he and partners felt would be easier to find in Boulder. Boulder has developed a reputation for having strong venture capital investment for high-tech companies like Prosperent.
“That isn’t something we’ve decided for sure we want to pursue,” Christensen said this week. “But we know we want a bigger talent pool.”
The company is having trouble attracting experienced PHP programmers. While such programmers are hard to find everywhere, Christensen said market conditions made it particularly difficult in Colorado Springs.
Prosperent has to compete with high-paying government contractors for employees, and the culture in the city wasn’t strong enough to draw young professionals from out of town. But the purely business justifications weren’t the only reasons to plan the move.
The Colorado Springs arts and entertainment culture doesn’t match for the company’s needs. Prosperent is basically five guys in their 20s and 30s who work with the office lights off, watch movies and play ping pong in their office. Christensen said there weren’t a lot of office spaces that promoted their particular corporate culture.
“We found a really cool place in Denver,” he said.
It’s Block 32, a new apartment and artists’ studio high rise at 3200 Brighten Blvd. in the River North, or RiNo, district of Denver. The office space has a balcony and a kitchen. It’s within walking distance of the popular LoDo area and Prosperent employees will have access to the swimming pool, grills, weight room and all the amenities in the building that residents have, Christensen said.
They’ll pay about the same rent they did at 31 E. Platte Ave. But they’ll have about half the square footage. That’s fine, Christensen said. They don’t need all the space they have now. Plus, they can leave their ping-pong table behind because the building has one they can use.
“We’re excited,” Christensen said.