Hudl is opening an Omaha office.
The Lincoln-based sports tech company will occupy the old Nomad Lounge, 1013 Jones St., near the Old Market starting in August.
They also hope to hire 43 new employees for the product team (developers, UX, quality assurance and project managers) between the new space and the Lincoln offices. Hudl also is offering a $10,000 hiring bonus to all new hires in the month of May. Its prospective hires brings Hudl to 170 total employees.
About 13 employees are currently commuting back and forth to Omaha, so co-founder David Graff says another office just makes sense.
Hudl also thought it’d be able to draw out more talent in a city like Omaha that’s rich with developers in large companies and two universities.
“We saw a lot of great groups of people in other roles in town,” Graff told Silicon Prairie News.
It’s a welcome addition for the Omaha community after its largest startup, MindMixer, announced a move to Kansas City to consolidate operations and find more talent. But Graff says hiring is challenging no matter where you are in the country.
“We have a lot of respect for the MindMixer crew and their leadership,” he said. “We haven’t talked with them, but we’re sure they had their good reasons to do it. We saw opportunity in Omaha because of its proximity to Lincoln and it makes for easy travel if something needs to be taken care of.
“We care about the state of Nebraska and felt it was the right move at this time.”
Hudl is hosting an open house at its new space during Big Omaha, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“There’s lots of work to do there, but it’s a great shell with high ceilings, wood columns,” Graff said. “It’s built to be a bar right now, so it’s not ready to be a productive work space just yet.”
Graff said it was important for the Omaha office to have the same feel as its two Haymarket offices, which are located in an area heavy with coffee shops, bars and restaurants. The company’s new Omaha space is steps from Aroma’s Coffeehouse and just a block or two from the Old Market, with plenty of restaurants and bars.
“We feel this is super important to have great options for our employees,” Graff said. “In the Haymarket, we have fun, random collisions with other software folks, so maybe we will get a little bit of that and run into tech people from larger companies at lunch or after work drinks.”
Graff said an office in a new city is a continued maturation for the company. Hudl started with one office in Lincoln, before growing so large they had to open a second a block away. Along with its Nebraska-based team, Hudl also has hired several remote workers in Texas, California and New York.
“Ideally we’d be in one office, but it can be tough to find the right talent by hiring in one area, so we started bringing on remote teams,” Graff (right) said. “This is another change with the two offices…It is still a new thing for us, but I think our culture will strengthen.”
Graff says he’s excited for Omaha. He grew up there, attending Millard North High School before moving to Lincoln to attend the Raikes business and computer science school at the University of Nebraska where Hudl began to take form.
He said the two communities are similar with strong universities, great nightlife and successful businesses—in this case, Omaha’s just happens to be a bit larger than Lincoln’s. Hudl, Graff hopes, will add to the Omaha startup community’s clout.
While the company now describes itself as a software company, but Graff said they haven’t lost the scrappiness or the culture of a startup.
“We’ve had a lot of growth and that’s been fun,” he said. “We’re extremely lucky to be on this journey.
“We benefited from great mentors, leadership and people (employees) around us. It’s extremely fun to come to work everyday to keep doing this.”
Credits: David Graff photo from Hudl.