T8 Webware receives incentives from state, plans for Des Moines expansion
With funding from the state of Iowa secured, T8 Webware plans to open an office in downtown Des Moines.
T8 Webware, a financial web strategy firm and creator of the Grip banking app, will receive $120,000 in incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDED), the state agency announced Friday. T8 will use the funds to expand into the Des Moines market, likely setting up shop along the growing "Silicon Sixth" district in the city's downtown.
"We have staff in Mason City, Ames, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids," Wade Arnold (left), the founder and CEO of T8, said in an email interview on Sunday, "but I have found something special about the community that has embraced T8 in Des Moines."
Founded in 2008, T8 is headquartered in Cedar Falls. According to the Des Moines Register, the company has six employees currently working out of Startup City Des Moines and area coffee shops.
On top of the $120,000, the Iowa Economic Development Authority also agreed to provide $200,000 in job training assistance. The expansion is expected to create 23 jobs in Des Moines that pay, according to the Register, $23.75 an hour. Earlier this month, the expansion was kick-started by $24,000 in incentives from the city of Des Moines. The Register reported the total cost of the project, from hiring staff to purchasing office furniture, to be more $300,000.
"In addition to training, the incentives include a low-interest loan," Arnold said, adding that the the loan allows T8 to use its profits to continue to develop products and people rather than pay for short-term unused office space.
T8 Webware headquarters are located in Cedar Falls.
When filling that office space, Arnold said he plans to bring the company culture he's established in Cedar Falls to Des Moines, one he hope will attract a swarm of talented developers.
"The primary motivator for Des Moines is that we have had a lot of success finding passionate developers that are up to the challenge," Arnold said. He plans to "balance new and mature talent" in the company as well as create an internship relationship with Iowa State University, which is located less than an hour north of Des Moines. The company currently has a relationship with the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
Behind this expansion, Wade explained, are established relationships in Des Moines.
"People like Dave Weis, Christian Renaud, Zach Cox and Dan Shipton have opened their doors to me and my staff," Arnold said. "Through the short course of a year they and others have become peers that I can vet ideas with and ask hard questions to learn from their experience.
"Although 'Silicon Sixth' is a bit too limiting of a name, the idea is one of collaboration, and I can testify to its rich existence."
The Register reported Arnold is seeking a place between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet with hopes to locate in the Midland Building on "Silicon Sixth." Arnold told the Register he would begin his search for a space within three weeks.
For more on T8 Webware, check out our post on its founding, "Wade Arnold and T8 Webware: From dorm room to board room", and our coverage of Grip.