OpenGov plans to add 65 employees, invest $400,000
MILWAUKEE, WI. DEC. 20, 2021 – Silicon Valley company OpenGov, whose leading cloud-based software helps government agencies operate more efficiently and transparently, is adding 65 full-time employees at its Milwaukee office and plans to have 100 employees there within three years with the help of tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
“Attracting businesses to Wisconsin is one of WEDC’s central missions and we are gratified that the state continues to be an attractive destination for companies seeking highly-skilled employees,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO.
WEDC has authorized $350,000 in business development tax credits if OpenGov meets its job creation commitment within three years.
OpenGov, founded in 2012 in Redwood City, California, provides software to more than 1,000 city, county and state agencies across the U.S. to help them create budgets and manage accounting and financial operations. At the same time, it gives citizens easy access to view government data and to apply for licenses and permits online.
The company opened its Milwaukee location in 2020 at the Global Water Center through a space-sharing arrangement with Marquette University, and has hired a number of recent graduates of Marquette, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison. OpenGov is on target to have 36 employees there by the end of the year, president David Reeves said.
“It is a young, exciting workspace,” Reeves said. “We are building a culture and excitement that’s stereotypical of Silicon Valley.”
OpenGov has nearly 500 employees and had locations in six U.S. cities. Since the pandemic, though, only offices in Chicago and in Milwaukee — the newest branch, where Reeves is based — have reopened.
Reeves said the Wisconsin office helps OpenGov take advantage of lower living expenses and puts the company closer to many of its customers, which include the cities of Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
Reeves grew up in Milwaukee and is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee; his wife graduated from Marquette. “We love Milwaukee,” he said. “Midwest employees tend to be more loyal. They take their employment seriously. As an emerging technology center, this is a unique opportunity to draw top talent.”
OpenGov plans to make a $400,000 capital investment in offices and equipment.
“This story about a Milwaukee native’s interstate enterprise coming back and creating jobs in our city, and hiring Wisconsin graduates is exactly the type of entrepreneurship that we should be fostering,” state Sen. Tim Carpenter said. “I’m also very pleased that OpenGov will help create efficiency within our government systems, helping people get better access to their resources and services, and saving taxpayers’ money.”
The city of Milwaukee is excited to be a center for OpenGov’s growth, said Commissioner Lafayette Crump, Milwaukee Department of City Development.
“Milwaukee is a hub for innovation and creativity, which is why OpenGov’s expansion in the Third Ward makes sense,” Crump said. “Thanks to this public-private partnership with the State of Wisconsin, OpenGov is creating new tech jobs in Milwaukee that will attract talent to our city and generate economic activity throughout the region.”
The Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership (M-7), the economic development organization for southeastern Wisconsin, assisted in the OpenGov expansion.
“OpenGov is exactly the kind of company we want in southeastern Wisconsin,” said M-7 Director of Corporate Attraction and Expansion Rebecca Gries. “The company’s success and decision to continue to expand here affirms our ability to compete for investment from tech-based companies that require highly educated and motivated employees.”
About 80,000 employees in the Milwaukee area are in the tech industry, comprising 9.5% of its economy, said Kathy Henrich, CEO of the MKE Tech Hub Coalition, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to inclusively double the tech talent in the Milwaukee region.
Henrich said Reeves has been a “very vocal advocate on our behalf” with the West Coast tech community. OpenGov’s expansion in Milwaukee is “a recipe for others that we want to recruit here to the region,” she said.
OpenGov is the fastest growing cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning software for government.
“OpenGov is taking an industry that had been largely underserved by technology and helping to provide not only a better work experience for government employees but also, better services to citizens,” Reeves said.
OpenGov was named to Forbes’ List of America’s Best Startup Employers 2021. The privately-owned software business has raised more than $140 million from venture capital firms. Zac Bookman is the company’s CEO.