Omaha startup Workshop raises seed round, adds former Flywheel founders to the team

It’s full speed ahead for Omaha startup Workshop.  The company, which provides an employee and internal communications software product, raised $3.5 million in a seed round.  Also, former Flywheel founders and executives Dusty Davidson and Rick Knudtson are joining Derek Homann and Ben Stevinson as co-founders for the new endeavor.  The four men previously all…

Image courtesy Workshop
Image courtesy Workshop

It’s full speed ahead for Omaha startup Workshop. 

The company, which provides an employee and internal communications software product, raised $3.5 million in a seed round. 

Also, former Flywheel founders and executives Dusty Davidson and Rick Knudtson are joining Derek Homann and Ben Stevinson as co-founders for the new endeavor. 

The four men previously all worked at web hosting company Flywheel. 

“It’s a well-founded team, and we’ve all worked together before,” Davidson said in an interview with SPN. “It’s a cool way to get the band back together and work with people that have complementary skills, as well as people you know and trust, and that are aligned in terms of what type of company to build. I’m excited to embark upon this journey with (Workshop).”

The current Workshop team, from left to right: Derek Homann, Ben Stevinson, Rick Knudtson, Jamie Bell, Dusty Davidson and Jess Spangler. Image courtesy Workshop.

The fundraising round was led by several midwest-based venture capital funds and angel investors, including Ludlow Ventures in Detroit; M25 in Chicago; and Linseed Capital in Omaha. 

The majority of investors in the seed round are local or regional, the company said in a press release, which “continues the co-founders’ vocal support of the Midwest as a hub for great technology and startup opportunities.”

Workshop plans to use the funds to hire a “world-class team,” with a current focus on recruiting engineering talent. 

Workshop is an internal communications platform that gives employees a go-to place for important information. It can also be used to create and share employee communications such as newsletters, policy updates and office closures. 

Workshop is the second venture from Homann and Stevinson; the pair previously built and sold co-browsing startup Median. Davidson said he and Knudtson were looking for their next adventure after Flywheel sold to Austin-based WP Engine, and decided to join forces with their former co-workers. 

The pair, along with third co-founder Tony Noecker, announced their departure from the web hosting giant in February. 

“At the core of it, we’re both builders,” Davidson said of himself and Knudtson. “We’re young, and we learned a lot at Flywheel, both in building it and making mistakes along the way…I don’t think either one of us is ready to just hang it up and sit on a beach. I like the idea of getting back to building and working with people.”

Davidson is Workshop’s CEO; Knudtson is serving as Chief Product Officer; Homann is Chief Customer Officer; and Stevinson is CTO. 

So far, around a dozen companies have signed up with Workshop, Davidson said. Most have been regional, and all have helped the startup develop a long product roadmap of features to help their customers communicate with employees more effectively. Today, the product has officially launched. 

Up next for Workshop? In addition to onboarding more customers and growing the team, Davidson said he has his eyes set on an office for the company, once it’s COVID-19 safe. 

“I remain adamant that office space matters a lot to culture and engagement,” he said. 

For more information on Workshop, visit the company’s website. 

 

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