A year ago, Chad Supers was running sales for a "baby startup" out of his San Francisco apartment. Today, the Elyria native is back home to help integrate the now fast-growing company into Cleveland's emerging tech economy.
Growbots, a Silicon Valley sales software firm, recently opened its national sales operations office in the Tenk Machine and Tool building on the West Bank of the Flats. The company builds outbound sales platforms for nearly 500 emerging B2B companies in the U.S., Europe and Canada, raising $4 million in annual recurring revenue.
Growbots has four employees stationed at its West Bank office, among them former Phenom co-founder Mike Eppich. Supers says the Cleveland firm is prepared to bring on another two dozen sales and administrative roles by the end of 2017.
"In Cleveland we know we can get people who are hungry, hard-working and have the right attitude," Supers says.
Company leaders housed in Growbots' two other locations — Warsaw, Poland, and San Francisco — chose Cleveland for a potent talent base that's far less expensive to train and hire than the employee pools on the coasts.
"There are engineers and other great talents here, and it won't cost you what it would in San Francisco, New York or Boston," says Eppich.
Cleveland's hiring pool is a bit shallow when it comes to experienced tech workers, but that challenge can be met with in-house instruction, Supers notes.
"Any sales person should have knowledge around our space, but most people we're hiring don't know our competitors," he says. "That's the biggest struggle, so as a leader I have to set up an infrastructure where our employees can be trained."
Like many of its West Coast brethren, Growbots provides a laid-back, results-oriented work atmosphere where rounds of pool are played between work assignments. Even in such casual environs, Supers is serious about his opportunity to bring high-paying tech jobs to his hometown.
"To think I'd be starting a small company and bringing it to Cleveland from San Francisco is pretty crazy," he says.