The growing technology sector in the St. Pete-Tampa area has attracted one of the larger software development firms in the world, NIX United, to the area.
NIX recently opened an office in Feldman Equities’ First Central Tower in downtown St. Pete that will be the company’s primary U.S. headquarters, said Kevin Woodford, community advocate for NIX.
There currently are four employees locally, with the St. Pete office expected to grow to 10 employees, primarily sales representatives, over the next couple of years, Woodford said.
“We are looking to grow this office tremendously,” Woodford said at 1 Million Cups St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “St. Pete-Tampa is one of the fastest growing communities for tech investments, so it made sense for us to come here … We looked at Tampa, we looked at St. Pete. St. Pete is a little nicer.”
The Greater St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. helped NIX set up shop here.
“Not only is NIX a fantastic addition to our thriving tech community, but their company culture fits well with our community’s culture,” said J.P. DuBuque, president of the St. Pete EDC. “We were honored to assist NIX United with the opening of their U.S. headquarters and we look forward to helping them grow and succeed in St. Pete for many years to come.”
NIX, founded in 1994, has a team of 2,000 developers in the Ukraine, all with a master’s level certification, Woodford said.
The company has completed over 3,000 projects, including for companies such as Thomson Reuters, IBM and Lenovo, Woodford said.
NIX is not the typical startup that presents at 1 Million Cups, an initiative to connect and support entrepreneurs and the local community.
“We’re a large organization. We’re not looking to scale, but we are looking to give back to the community,” Woodford said. “So, for the St. Pete community and for nonprofits and charities out there, we’re going to give $5,000 in development at no cost — a website, a mobile application, any of these items we’ll do for nothing. We’re doing it because we want to give back and make resources available to you.”
NIX takes two approaches to working with its clients.
“We can do end-to-end development. You say, ‘I need XYZ developed,’ we’ll do it out the door. It’s flat cost,” Woodford said.
The company also has a team-as-a-service model. “When you need software engineering you may not need it for longer than eight months, you may not need a permanent placement, or 10 developers on your team for the rest of that project’s lifetime,” Woodford said. “We can come on in a team basis and you can work with us, tell us what you need, without having to manage individual staff, going through technical interviews, going through a process that you or may not have expertise in.”
In many cases, what began as small pilot projects have turned into ongoing relationships with clients making NIX their permanent development partner, Woodford said.
“If you want to pass it on to an internal guy later, you can,” he said. “You don’t just have a product, you have a step-by-step process with every line of code to understand and interact with.”
NIX specializes in software development for healthcare, insurance, e-commerce, e-learning and other domains and handles cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain, VR/AR, IoT, DevOps and data science, as well as traditional product development and software solutions, a news release said.