BIME Analytics, which provides cloud-based business intelligence as a pay-as-you-go service to companies from startups to Fortune 500s, was founded in France in 2009 and has 17 employees there. Although one-third of its business is in North America, it hasn’t had a physical presence until now. When they made the decision to open an office stateside, the search started in familiar places like Silicon Valley, but ended up in Kansas City.
“While that’s a fantastic market, it’s expensive and hyper competitive in getting the best and brightest,” Jim Lysinger, BIME’s vice president of North America, told Silicon Prairie News. “We put a lot of time and money into developing talented people and don’t want to spend all our time defending that.”
Whereas business intelligence has typically been a cumbersome process involving the setup of an army of servers and an IT team to research data points that were mostly in house, BIME pulls a wide range of data points in real time—Lysinger says “new data points are popping up all the time.” Users can pull in data from places like Google BigQuery, Facebook and Dropbox, and a whole lot more.
The privately held company has hundreds of enterprise clients, but wasn’t close enough to many of them here in the U.S. After it realized Silicon Valley and typical hubs like Boston and Austin weren’t the answers, BIME saw huge potential in KC.
“No. 1 is the talent pool,” Lysinger said. “We saw a lot of similarities with Montpellier. No. 2 are the types of talent pools: an experienced talent pool from established tech companies and access to well-educated individuals coming out of universities. We’re a new company with new tech selling new things. They aren’t the things people learned 20 years ago but rather in the last three to four years.”
What made it come together though was the timing of a Kauffman Foundation study that highlighted Kansas City as the third-most active startup community the past ten years just as Launch KC—an initiative by Mayor Sly James and others geared partially to attract tech companies—got off the ground.
“In terms of office space, the hiring pool, everything, Launch KC was super responsive to everything we’ve asked of them,” Lysinger said. “When we found Kansas City, we realized the kind of culture we have aligns.”
The new office will be located in the heart of the Crossroads District and the plan is to hire seven initially by the end of this year, then double that team in 2014. Lysinger said the office will open in a couple weeks, but that he’s already been blown away by the community.
“We’re not even moved in and I’ve already had a number of introductions,” he said.
Credits: Jim Lysinger photo courtesy BIME.