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On the rise: 5 tech workplaces to watch in 2015

The offices at Rhiza

The offices at Rhiza

The open, airy offices of Schell Games

Best places to work

Nate Good of ShowClix

ShowClix at work

Work hard, play hard

Commitment to high-quality education has always been on the forefront of Steel City culture, but a brain drain plagued the workforce until as recently as 15 years ago. In a 2003 report released by the US Census Bureau, Pittsburgh ranked 275th for its loss of single, educated, 25- to 39-year-olds, among 276 metropolitan areas. Talented young graduates were leaving for brighter lights and bigger cities. 
 
However, the 2010 Census brought exciting news: Pittsburgh’s median age dropped for the first time in years, showing that our grads are finding great opportunities right around the corner. Not only that, but young people are flocking to Pittsburgh in search of a place where they can follow their passions and maybe even afford to buy a home. The tech industry specifically is booming, as Pop City reported back in November. Here are five companies in various industries that are providing these jobs and doing their part to make Pittsburgh’s economy and workforce flourish.
 
Rhiza
 
Industry: Software
 
The Facts:
With the leaps and bounds that technology has made in just the last 10 years, software companies like Rhiza help businesses make sense of their data. Rhiza’s SaaS tools streamline data for better business decisions, according to Director of Marketing Shiri Friedman. “Few organizations know how to use their data to drive business results and even fewer have the right processes and practices in place,” Friedman says. 
 
In the last two years, Rhiza has signed multi-year contracts with big-name media companies. In 2014, they raised their first outside investment of $3 million, allowing the team to triple in size.
 
The Stats: 
Rhiza hired 17 new employees in 2014.  That’s an entire advanced programming class! They are planning to add 10 more to the team in the first half of 2015.
 
The Perks:
Looking for a diverse workplace? Rhiza boasts an opera singer and a Ph.D. in Organizational Theory among their employees. Situated in Shadyside with plans for another East End office, they have the standard attractive advantages of any young company worth its salt: casual environment, flexible work hours, catered lunches, and, of course, a kitchen full of snacks. Rhiza stands out, however, in their benefits package. Equity for all employees, a 401K match program, and family-friendly parental policies that allow newborns up to six months old in the office.
 
Pittsburgh Pride:
Rhiza has strong Pittsburgh roots, thanks to two of its three founders being Carnegie Mellon University alums. Born out of a project at ‘burgh-based technology design firm and innovation lab MAYA Design, they retain MAYA Founder and Principal Peter Lucas on their board of directors.  A strong talent pool and the great software network keep Rhiza thriving here. Pittsburgh businesses are looking toward the future and Rhiza is going to help them get there.
 
Level Interactive
 
Industry: Marketing and Advertising
 
The Facts:
In the fast-paced advertising world, Level Interactive is leading the pack in Pittsburgh.  Their mission is to generate sales that that leave clients with a high return on investment through digital channels.
 
Founded in 2010, it seems this approach is working. Level was ranked No. 190 on The Inc. 500’s 2014 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US.
 
Vice President of Operations Patrick Van Gorder has an idea as to why. “We out-hustle, out-work, and out-perform our competition by using better tools and a more holistic view of the digital advertising ecosystem. At the end of the day, it is simple math, and more and more companies are finding that Level Interactive makes them more money for every dollar they put in.”
           
The Stats:
Level is expanding quickly, hiring 18 people in 2014 with intention to add double that in 2015.  They are looking for creative folks who can crunch numbers in the form of developers, graphic designers, data analysts, and digital strategists.
 
The Perks:
High compensation and a generous benefits package are just two reasons why Level Interactive has made Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2013 “Best Places to Work” List.  A passionate environment with like-minded teammates is another likely factor. As Van Gorder points out, “no one is ever bored.”
 
Pittsburgh Pride:
From their downtown offices, Level considers itself a part of a rich tradition of companies who take tremendous pride in their work in the Steel City. Talent that rivals coastal hubs makes Pittsburgh an attractive home base as well.

Schell Games
 
Industry: Video Games
 
The Facts:
Based in Station Square, Schell Games has found considerable footing in the educational game market, capitalizing on our society’s shift in learning methods. Schell boasts clients like Yale University, Amplify Education, BEST Foundation, and Pittsburgh treasure The Fred Rogers Company. With its commitment to making games that change people for the better, Schell Games has been able to attract senior creative talent nationwide. They’ve also filled their ranks with graduates from many of the universities in the Pittsburgh area. 
 
The Stats:
Schell increased its full-time employee roster in 2014 by 10 percent, a number they intend to replicate in 2015. Artists, designers, engineers, and producers are in need, as long as they are open, curious, and kind individuals. 
 
The Perks:
Along with the standard benefits, Schell offers some unique opportunities.  Conference and seminar attendance is encouraged so employees may continue to grow and learn. The company reimburses all travel and registration expenses, as well as paid time off. Schell also dedicates one week a year to developing individual projects, some of which (Enemy Mind, GumTrix, and InnerCube) have made it all the way up the development chain.
 
Pittsburgh Pride:
As far as Schell Games’ feelings about the ‘Burgh, Director of Marketing Jill Sciulli puts it best. “Not only does Pittsburgh boast prestigious educational institutions, natural beauty, high-quality medical care, exceptional cultural and dining experiences, and a low cost of living, it possesses a business infrastructure that nurtures creative businesses, like ours. These characteristics allow us to attract and retain high-quality employees to our company, and for this reason, we are thrilled to be based in Pittsburgh.” 
 
ShowClix
 
Industry: Ticket/Software/Event Technology

The Facts:
Founded in 2007 as an online ticketing and live event search engine, ShowClix has evolved from a five-person outfit to over 40 employees. ShowClix’s Chief Technical Officer Nate Good says ShowClix looks to “provide innovative event technology and unparalleled personal service that helps professional event organizers all over the world to create amazing experiences for their attendees.”
 
The Stats:
ShowClix added five people to the team in 2014 and would like to hire five to 10 in the coming year. On their wanted list currently are a VP of Sales, Data Scientist, and Quality Control Lead.
 
The Perks:
At ShowClix, you can take in an amazing view of the city from the heart of Downtown while enjoying a snack from the cereal wall.  They even have a cinema in the office where you can catch a classic comedy, watch a sporting event, or play videogames. Flex hours and a remote work policy give their employees the room and time to be creative. ShowClix also puts on “Engibeering” events in their offices, mixing local craft beer and tech talk, which are open to the public.
 
Pittsburgh Pride:
Largely composed of native Pittsburghers, ShowClix is proud to call the city home. The rapidly expanding tech industry and a welcoming community have helped ShowClix establish a foundation for future growth.
           
Eyeflow, LLC
 
Industry: Digital Marketing
 
The Facts:
A small company based on the South Side, Eyeflow, LLC specializes in a holistic approach to optimizing digital marketing campaigns for business of all sizes. They follow a step-by-step process to help organizations improve areas such as search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media. 
 
The Stats:
Eyeflow has doubled in size in the past five years, hiring three people this past year and expecting five new hires in 2015. In demand at Eyeflow: Fast-learning and self-motivated individuals who can evolve with the growing market.
 
The Perks:
Owner Phil Laboon describes Eyeflow as a safe space for those who desire a collaborative environment. “Being a small company, everyone has a voice.” The office is relaxed and pet-friendly.
 
Pittsburgh Pride:
Eyeflow, LLC is so comfortable in Pittsburgh, they even formed a sister company called Yellow Bridge Interactive, LLC, a web design and web application development firm. Though both companies are on the smaller side, they are committed to contributing to the economy and technological culture in Western Pennsylvania.
 
Whether you’re a computer whiz, an outgoing salesperson, or a passionate artist, Pittsburgh’s business world has a place for you.
 
Know of any other great companies not mentioned here?  Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @popcitypgh. And, be sure to check out other local job opportunities from Pop City, too.
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