Three start-up tech companies will be opening in the historic Riker Building in downtown Pontiac, bringing more than 100 new computer jobs in the next 36 months.
The announcement was made by Pete Karmanos Jr., chairman and cofounder of MadDog Technology; and Mark Hillman, MadDog Technology cofounder.
Lenderful.com, DeliverMyRide.com and PerfectRealty.com have a build-out in process of 15,000 square feet of world-class tech space under contract. The space will be on the tenth and top floor of the building. The companies will begin the move on Friday, Oct. 27 into the ninth floor until the tenth floor is completed around mid-December.
Karmanos said: “We have chosen Pontiac as the new home for three of our rapidly growing new technology start-ups – Lenderful, DeliverMyRide and Perfect Realty. There is a growing base of technology companies in Pontiac, and we see Pontiac emerging as a technology center in Southeast Michigan.
“Being one of the first to invest in Detroit, we saw that technology companies can be the heart of an economic renaissance. We believe Pontiac can see the same sort of explosive growth in the short term,”Karmanos said.
Hillman, who is also the CEO of Lenderful, said: “First and foremost, it is all about attracting top talent. The bottom line is to attract top talent we need a space so that when people come to Pontiac they go ‘Wow, this is killer,’ so we’re building it out at the world class level.”
“Why (we’re moving to Pontiac) is pretty simply a question of geography. Think about what’s going on in our economy in Michigan, with the advent of self driving cars. The automotive industry, manufacturing and supply base engineers are absorbing thousands and thousands of software engineers. Cars now have millions of lines of code in them, so how do you get top talent with that kind of supply and demand? We said let’s go where the people live, because minutes from Pontiac you have a residential base (Auburn Hills, Rochester, Troy, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham and Royal Oak), a whole region of top talent so conveniently located. It gives us a tremendous solution,” Hillman said.
Oakland University and Oakland Community College also offer software technology programs that align to with MadDog Technology’s growth plans, according to Hillman.
“Additionally, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has looked at the move to Pontiac as a strategic project; an opportunity to infuse a historically manufacturing driven town with high tech start-ups,” Hillman said.