Local business briefs

Staff Reports

Founders Factory UK Acquires Assets of Founders Factory US

Columbus – Founders Factory UK, a corporate backed incubator and accelerator based in London, announced its acquisition of some of the assets of Columbus-based Founders Factory US.

“Founders Factory US has helped enable an expanding ecosystem of technology business in the Columbus region with their investments in 27 companies over the prior 4 years – this is a tremendous accomplishment and it is through investments like these and support from high quality operators that regional technology centers emerge,” said Jim Meyerle, managing director and co-founder of Founders Factory.

Founders Factory US will now be included in the Founders Factory UK global mentor network of talented entrepreneurs. Founders Factory UK (foundersfactory.co) will acquire both the brand and assets of Founders Factory US (foundersfactory.com), with Founders Factory US maintaining equity stakes in the 27 companies it has invested in over the past several years. The team behind Founders Factory US will also be visiting London with select startups in their portfolio.

“With 95 percent of middle market income located outside the U.S., it is essential for high growth startups to think globally,” said Brooke Paul, founder and managing director, Founders Factory US. “Doing business internationally yields greater innovation, job growth and funding sources, and we look forward to participating in an expanded global technology ecosystem, giving a leg-up to Columbus based business.”

According to the Kauffman Foundation, Columbus is ranked the number one city for startups to go to scale, with more new businesses growing to employ 50 or more people in their first 10 years than any major metropolitan area in the United States. Columbus is also the number four metro for overall startup growth, with a 51.86 percent average rate of growth within five years of founding.

zulily Expands Operations in Columbus Region

COLUMBUS – zulily, the online retailer obsessed with bringing customers special finds every day, announced the next phase of its expansion in the Columbus, Ohio area.

zulily has invested $1.3 million, adding to its collective capital investment of $30 million in the Columbus Region, and has expanded its existing Gahanna operations to support its rapid growth. zulily currently employs more than 1,250 employees in the Columbus Region and has continued to demonstrate job growth, increasing its number of employees by 22 percent from 2014 to 2015 and increasing by 28 percent from 2015 to date in 2016. The newly expanded Gahanna office, located at 800 Tech Center Drive, is 87,500 square feet and will celebrate its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning at 9:30 a.m. E.T. zulily operates a fulfillment center in Obetz, OH, a corporate office in Gahanna, OH and has replaced its Citygate office. The company has continued to demonstrate strong growth and drive a compelling customer experience that delights more than 5 million active customers each and every day.

“The state, county, local government partners, businesses and vendors, and people of the Columbus community have made it possible for us to continue to expand our footprint in Ohio – all with an eye to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” said Darrell Cavens, CEO of zulily. “Our cross section between technology and retail creates an incredibly unique set of hiring opportunities. We believe that the Columbus area has been and will continue to be well-positioned to provide a highly talented workforce to fill the positions being created in the coming years. We are excited to be expanding our presence in the Columbus Region.”

The expansion is illustrative of the continued commitment to growth and opportunity in the Columbus area. The zulily presence in Gahanna and Obetz includes positions in distribution, customer service, human resources, finance, merchandising, and studio services.

“Four years ago, zulily chose Obetz and Gahanna to build what it considers its second home, and today the company has created more than 1,250 jobs in the region,” said JobsOhio Managing Director for Information Technology and Logistics, Ted Griffith. “Along with our local partners, we look forward to growing our relationship with zulily as it continues to expand here in Ohio.”

“Gahanna and Obetz are great communities in which to expand, and zulily is the kind of innovative growth company that we are proud to have within the Columbus Region,” said Kenny McDonald, President and CEO, Columbus 2020.

The Gahanna expansion comes with new job opportunities, with more than 50 openings at various levels and in multiple departments including customer service, fulfillment center associates, studio, merchandising and accounts payable. zulily will be hosting an open house event following today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly expanded Gahanna office at 3.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. E.T. for open positions in merchandising, accounts payable, studio and customer service.

“The City of Gahanna is pleased that zulily is expanding their corporate footprint within our community. This expansion project will create jobs for citizens of Gahanna and throughout central Ohio. zulily has been a great corporate partner for the City of Gahanna and we look forward to working with them for years to come,” said Thomas R. Kneeland, Mayor of Gahanna.

zulily has more than 3,200 full-time employees and is headquartered in Seattle with an office and fulfillment centers in Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania. For more information on hiring and career opportunities in the Columbus area, visit http://www.zulily.com/careers/.

Velvet Ice Cream Ribbon Cutting

UTICA, OH – In response to rapid growth, Velvet Ice Cream has just completed its $3 million, 22,000-square-foot expansion. The new cold storage facility doubles the company’s production capacity.

On October 5, 2016 at 2:30 p.m., the local ice cream manufacturer hosted a ribbon cutting and press conference with company and local officials on hand to comment on the new facility and resulting projected growth.

Takeya Makes Big Move to Columbus

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California – On the heels of its latest product launch, the ThermoTumbler, Takeya USA, an industry leader in hydration solutions, announced the official move of its U.S. distribution center from Cleveland to east Columbus, Ohio, in the Whitehall area. The new warehouse space positions the company to streamline and expedite the ordering and fulfillment process through state-of-the-art equipment and technology, expand its product inventory, and make a positive impact on the local economy through job creation, tripling its Ohio employee-base.

“Moving our warehouse to Columbus is a direct result of our rapid growth domestically,” said Takeya USA CEO John Lown. “The expansive warehouse allows us to continue to provide our customers with a high level of service and efficiency as we steadily grow and expand our product lines and brand. Furthermore, this move puts us closer to our U.S. manufacturing center in the area, reinforcing our sustainable and environmentally-friendly mission, as less transport means less carbon pollution.”

Takeya USA is hiring in its new Columbus, Ohio warehouse. To learn more about career opportunities with Takeya USA, please visit www.takeyausa.com, or visit the company’s Facebook page.

Staff Reports