Nexient, a Silicon Valley-based software company with two locations in Michigan, recently committed to spending $4.17 million on expansion and adding 300 jobs at its Pittsfield Township facility over the next three years.
The expansion will be helped by a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Nexient has already added 25 jobs in Washtenaw County since January of 2018 and has plans to increase that to the 300 skilled jobs the performance-based grant calls for. A large number of new jobs will go to software developers, but the company also plans to add quality engineers, business analysts, user experience designers, and support staff.
Nexient established its tech hub in Pittsfield Township in 2010, and also has a smaller center in Okemos. In 2015, Nexient took over the lease next door to its Pittsfield hub, making room for 500 or more employees.
Southeast Michigan has a great pool of both recent graduates and candidates for mid-level and senior talent, according to Nexient CEO Mark Orttung.
"Michigan has been a fantastic environment for us, with the combination of access to the University of Michigan and another 20 universities within a few hundred miles," Orttung says. He says Ann Arbor is a "great place to live" and it isn't difficult to recruit employees to the area.
"We have plenty of room to grow, and we're aggressively investing to grow the team," Orttung says.
Nexient serves a number of industries from healthcare to auto manufacturing with "agile" software – software that is built incrementally and collaboratively, and is modified according to feedback from clients and end users. It's not rigid, but meant to evolve.
"We like to talk about a product-minded approach," Orttung says, noting that some companies release parts of a new piece of software in two-week "sprints." A company might have the ultimate goal of a six-month roadmap for releasing new software but will release pieces of it every two weeks, getting feedback and tweaking the product as the process goes on.
"It's a very fast-paced and nimble way to create software," he says. "As you use the software, you'll notice little things that could make it better, so you can make adjustments along the way, and three to six months down the road, you've already taken into account what end-users would find to make it a better, more usable product."
Orttung says that clients are continually looking for more of the "product-minded approach" that agile software brings to the table.
"I expect to see demand growing in the marketplace, and we're looking forward to growing in Ann Arbor," Orttung says.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Nexient.