Alexandros Marinos had spent a few years building a small startup in London when it came time to move his company to the U.S. He had his sights set on the West Coast, where he focused in on Seattle or San Francisco.
Ultimately, Marinos picked Seattle for the new headquarters of Resin.io, a 25-person company backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson that bills itself as offering “DevOps for the industrial Internet.”
Marinos told GeekWire that the city’s industrial history with companies like Boeing combined with the IP infrastructure talent available convinced him to re-locate to Seattle over Silicon Valley.
“Overall, things are more reasonable here, financially speaking,” he added. “It just felt like a very good place for us to build a team.”
Resin.io, which raised a $3 million seed round from DFJ last year, just opened a new office in Capitol Hill, where about six of its employees are based. President Bryan Hale recently joined the team after spending nine months as an entrepreneur-in-residence at DFJ and nearly six years at Seattle-based IT automation company Chef.
Hale said that he’s noticed “a little bit of a northward pull” from tech workers living in the Bay Area and looking for a change.
“We think that is a trend we’ll continue to see,” Hale said.
Resin.io is similar to Chef in that it helps companies rapidly deploy new cloud-based software, but is more focused on Internet-connected devices in the industrial world used by clients in the digital signage, energy, transportation, retail and smart building sectors.
“In order to do their jobs effectively, our customers need to deliver great software, safely, and at scale to fleets of devices in various locations connecting across various networks — 2G, 3G, WiFi, ethernet, etc.,” Hale explained. “At a product level, this means we have built technology that allows customers develop software fast and deploy it safely and consistently over the air. It’s a bit like ‘Chef for the Industrial Internet,’ though the breadth of the technology is a bit bigger.”
One unique aspect of the company is its diversity, with employees hailing from 10 countries and four continents. While it can sometimes be difficult with a team spread out across the world, Hale noted some advantages.
“The trick is that you have to figure out a way to treat everyone involved as equals in terms of communication,” he said. “We have technology and processes in place that we use to help turn what might be a disadvantage of being distributed into an advantage.”
Having such a diverse team also helps Resin.io gain a more global perspective for its business. It also results in some pretty competitive barbecue competitions, as evident at this year’s annual company meeting in Athens.
“We had the South Africans versus the Argentines,” Marinos noted. “Both have very strong grilling cultures.”
Marinos added that at this year’s meeting, it was the first time many employees had met each other in person.
“There was tremendous energy,” he said. “It was almost like they were speaking in universal geek culture. It’s been surprising to see how comparable people are from all over the world.”