Software development firm SRT Solutions acquired by Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object
Photo by Mark Bialek | For AnnArbor.com
Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object announced Wednesday morning that it has acquired the software development firm for an undisclosed sum.
“We’re super excited about coming into Ann Arbor, and we’re not just hanging a shingle outside a door,” Atomic Object CEO Carl Erickson said.
“We’re starting from a strong core of four former SRT Solutions people right out of the gate and we’ve taken over the lease so we’ll be in the space for at least the next 18 months.”
Over the past few years, SRT has been helping clients by building software and facilitating courses for programmers to learn higher level computer coding. Wagner said that he and Marsh began looking for someone to purchase the company earlier in 2013, in part because the two sides of the company were difficult to run at the same time.
“We were a bit bigger [as a company] before, we’ve been shrinking down over the past year, and part of that was we were trying to figure out what exactly we were trying to be,” Wagner said.
Marsh has already moved to San Jose, California where she is now director of engineering for cloud tools at video rental company Netflix. Wagner plans to stay in Ann Arbor and focus on the education side of the spectrum, designing instruction modules for Pluralsight, an online developer-training platform.
“Moving forward, it will be easier for me to work with what I want to do in training and for the remaining SRT employees to move forward as a software product company,” Wagner said.
Wagner is also involved with a non-profit startup called Humanitarian Toolbox that is working to build open source applications that will support volunteers working for other nonprofits in disaster relief. The organizations first app, a volunteer check-in will be available within the next few months.
“It’s basically a foursquare for disaster relief volunteers,” Wagner said.
“So for the next earthquake or disaster when the volunteers start showing up and people are waiting to be told when and where to go to apply their skills people can be sent to where they are most needed… We’re hoping to help responders and people to be more effective, more efficient and save more lives.”
SRT’s four current employees will all make the transition to Atomic Object, and Erickson said the company is close to hiring a fifth developer who will work out of the Ann Arbor office.
Atomic Object, which was founded in 2001, has 35 employees at its Grand Rapids location and four developers at a Detroit office opened in 2012. Erickson said that the company’s philosophy is to keep relatively small local offices.
“We’re a very flat company with limited hierarchy,” he said. “So we can’t scale up indefinitely. We’ve found that having 30-35 people in the office works very well.”
In Ann Arbor, the company is looking hire developers slowly as it climbs towards that 35-employee plateau.
“We don’t feel that we have to grow, but we have enough demand for our services that we can grow if and when we want to,” Erickson said.
“The limiting factor is finding the right people and that’s part of why we’re coming to Ann Arbor is the great tech community. We’re looking for people who are super talented and match the culture that we have in our company. I think that if we have 10 people in our office in Ann Arbor one year from now we’d be very happy with that.”