Archive for Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Global technology company RiskIQ comes to Shawnee

April 14, 2015

— A San Francisco-based technology firm is opening an office in Shawnee, further solidifying the Kansas City area as what is now being called "Silicon Prairie."

RiskIQ now calls Shawnee home in addition to its offices in San Francisco and European offices in London.

"The 'Silicon Prairie,' and Shawnee in particular, is an ideal location for us to expand our customer success operations," said Jason Zann, vice president and head of platform for RiskIQ. "The Kansas City region offers a number of strategic advantages including a central location in the U.S., a skilled technology workforce, a growing start-up scene and great quality of life."

Zann has called the Kansas City area and Shawnee home for the past 18 years. From here, he spends a lot of his time traveling to RiskIQ's other offices around the world.

RiskIQ is a technology company that detects and mitigates online threats such as malware, malvertisements and fake applications both on websites and mobile applications to protect customers, employees and brands from cyber attacks. RiskIQ works with hundreds of global companies including some of the world's largest social media organizations.

The new Shawnee location, near the intersection of 83rd Street and Kansas Highway 7, will support U.S. customers including seven of the country's top 10 financial institutions, two of the largest technology brands and two of the largest consumer brands. The company will be releasing a list of their official partners at a later date.

Their Shawnee office officially opened with 10 employees about a week ago, and on Monday RiskIQ was granted a SEED forgivable loan by the City Council for an amount of $80,800.

The city's SEED program provides a business with an initial one-time payment with increments of the loan forgiven over time as specified targets are met. The amount of the loan is generally determined as 1.5 percent of committed new payroll with an additional .5 percent awarded for meeting other criteria such as hiring Shawnee residents, using Shawnee-based contractors and vendors or making a substantial contribution to a Shawnee-based charitable organization.

"This helps solidify our future and anchor us deeper into the local community," Zann said.

Andrew Nave, the executive director of the Shawnee Economic Development Council, said RiskIQ will be required under the SEED agreement to create 10 more new jobs in 2015 and an additional 16 news jobs in 2016. If they meet those benchmarks, along with requirements for added payroll, about $20,000 from the loan will be forgiven each year. The agreement states that RiskIQ must have an additional payroll of more than $4 million by 2017.

"This is a really great company with great growth potential," Nave said. "It's also great to see the Shawnee name associated with cities like San Francisco and London."

Zann said the company is actively hiring and recruiting new employees in the area and said the company was excited about coming to Shawnee because the "Midwest culture is part of our DNA."

The company will be holding its official office opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 4.

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