In 2010 David Kerber, founder and CEO of Agape Red, started the company part time with the goal of providing quality development to startups.
Developing everything from accounting software to video games, Agape Red now serves a variety of companies including: Woodhouse Auto Group, Red Basket and Phillips 66 Lubricants.
The team has worked with 92 different businesses since their founding, and plans to dramatically expand that number within the next year.
Focusing on great relationships
From the beginning, Agape Red decided to solely focus on development, rather than offering additional services in marketing, design, SEO and branding. Kerber said because the company has such a hyperfocus, they are able to distinguish themselves from their competition while taking on a variety of clients.
“When you have a singular focus like we do, you can actually be pretty broad in the type of projects you do,” said Kerber. “We don’t have a strict focus on the types of industries we serve or the types of software we build. We just try to work with good people.”
According to Kerber, Agape Red puts a strong focus on the relationships they build with their clients in order to drive success. Rather than a vendor-type of relationship, the company likes to form strong partnerships with each client.
“We also help our clients with strategy, in terms of connecting them with other businesses or firms that specialize in things we don’t,” said Kerber. “We get to dream with them and help them take their business to the next level.”
While great communication is necessary for the team, David Hopp, COO, said that those relationships have to include very honest and authentic interactions.
“We’ve had to tell customers that their previous code base was developed poorly,” said Hopp. “Most of the time they are really thankful because they suspected the problem, but no one ever outwardly said it. Because we are straightforward with them, we are more successful at helping them solve their problems.”
Weeding out distractions
In the past six years, Kerber said that he’s really starting to understand the importance of focus.
“I would call 2015 the year of distraction for Agape Red,” said Kerber. “We did so many things and expanded into so many different areas that we somewhat lost our focus.”
Kerber said that the team has worked hard to eliminate those distractions, and is now focusing on the team’s strengths so they can propel Agape Red forward in the coming years.
What’s next for Agape Red
Agape Red is currently gearing up for a big rebrand, and setting their goals for the new year. Kerber said one of their goals is to increase their number of female developers to 50 percent of their team in the next year.
“I think the more diverse a team is, the more robust it is,” said Kerber. “Diversity in a team brings strength to the company in a variety of different ways.”
Hopp added that the team is also starting to get involved with important community projects like the CAREEROCKIT initiative, which is focused on bringing more diversity to the Omaha developer community as a whole.
Whether the team is inviting Metropolitan Community College, high school or middle school students to tour their office, or hosting events for Omaha Code School and Interface Web School, it’s clear that Agape Red is dedicated to bringing the Omaha tech community together.
“If we’re able to better the Omaha tech scene, by default we’re going to find more diverse talent for our team in the future,” said Hopp.
To get connected with Agape Red, visit their contact page.
Mel Lucks is a regional freelance journalist and former intern for Silicon Prairie News and AIM.