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Jonathan’s Conversation with the Business Journal

Jonathan Anderstrom, Creed’s president and Co-founder, recently had a chance to sit down with The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal to share insights on the local tech community. The same day, we were also recognized as a top development firm in the Twin Cities for the second year in a row. We are thrilled to have our name appear on this list once again.

(This is a copy of an article posted on the Twin Cities Business Journal on May 4th written by Haley Madderom).

How St. Paul software firm lures talent while fighting city’s ‘quiet, lazy’ stigma.

Jonathan Anderstrom, president and co-founder of St. Paul-based Creed Interactive, said he faces the same problems as his peers at attracting talent. In the Twin Cities there are too many vacancies for programmers to fill. Plus, when people do make their way to Minnesota, they go to Minneapolis, not St. Paul.

“I think there’s a kind of stigma around St. Paul as sort of Minneapolis’s quiet, lazy cousin. There’s so much activity in Minneapolis, but on the other hand, there’s so much going on in St. Paul, and sometimes that gets lost,” Anderstrom said. “St. Paul is growing and turning upward, and the narrative that we’re trying to set is a more accurate one.”

Creed took root in Minnesota in 2007 and moved its headquarters to St. Paul’s Lowertown district several years back. The software development firm bootstrapped its way to No. 19 on The List this year, with an average year-over-year revenue growth of 30 percent since its inception, Anderstrom said.

Creed also recently won a contract with Medtronic, competing with a $4 billion company from out of state. Anderstrom said it is a challenge to convince their clients that Creed’s small size would not come as a setback.

“I tell them we all used to work at much larger firms, and we left those firms of scale to create an agency of impact. We’re a local, passionate and talented team,” Anderstrom said.

Creed has convinced its talented team members to brave Minnesota’s changeable climate by offering extensive training programs that pair new developers with senior staff. Anderstrom said that generally it takes about two years to train each recruit, and once that happens, they tend to stay.

Anderstrom represents Creed as one of 19 members on the St. Paul Innovation Cabinet created last year by former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Councilmember Chris Tolbert to boost job and business growth in St. Paul. Members include experts in technology, economic development, real estate and workforce development.

Anderstrom also serves on the Full Stack St. Paul steering committee, launched by the St. Paul Innovation Cabinet last July. Full Stack is a public/private partnership comprised of 31 leaders in the technology sector seeking to strengthen job growth and talent retention in St. Paul. The committee wants to promote the city to entrepreneurs and job seekers in the greater metro area and outside the statewith the goal of adding 2,000 tech-related jobs and hosting 50 innovation-focused events in St. Paul by 2020.

Anderstrom said that attracting employees also means spreading the word about St. Paul and building up the city’s tech community.

Recently, Creed helped influence one of its clients, CODE, a Phoenix-based software-as-a-service startup, to pack up and move its operations to St. Paul, Anderstrom said.

The lower cost of living was a huge factor in the company’s move, Anderstrom said. “We also have 17 Fortune 500 companies [in the state], and the majority of them are fairly easy to access. … In my mind, this is one of the best locations to start a business.”

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