Entrepreneur

Downtown Chattanooga lands tech company headquarters


Chattanooga is gaining a new technology company that plans to shift its headquarters from Illinois to the Scenic City, an official said Wednesday.

DEVNET, which works with local governments and offers land records management services for computer-assisted mass appraisal along with billing, collection, and mapping capabilities, plans to employ more than 20 people here within the next year, said Brandy Strissel, vice president of operations and legal services.

“We wanted somewhere focused on technology, a growing community that’s basically a good fit for a small- to midsize company to grow,” she said.

Currently, the privately held company that started in 1997 has operations in Sycamore, Illinois, but plans are to eventually shift its headquarters to Chattanooga, Strissel said.

She said EPB’s ultra-fast internet was a factor in picking Chattanooga.

“We rely heavily on the internet,” she said.

Strissel said DEVNET already is leasing 1,500 square feet in the James Building downtown at 735 Broad St.

“We’ve opened an office in Chattanooga and made a few recent hires,” she said, adding that people interested in the company can go to jobs@devnetinc.com.

Charles Wood, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of economic development, said the continued growth of the city’s technology industry is critical for its long-term economic success.

“We have been proud to support DEVNET with their location and growth in downtown Chattanooga,” he said.

DEVNET currently serves more than 120 jurisdictions in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the company.

In addition to its government software services, DEVNET is a provider of computer hardware and specializes in the setup and installation of PC networks.

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Strissel said some governments had in-house services and then decided to go to a company such as DEVNET while others have always had an outside vendor.

“It depends on each government entity,” she said.

DEVNET is locating not far away from the Edney Innovation Center at East 11th and Market streets, which has been known as the hub for growing the city’s knowledge economy.

Key tenants in the Edney include the business accelerator The Company Lab, the Enterprise Center, and co-working space provider Society of Work.

The 140-acre Innovation District located in the heart of the city center has drawn global attention. Championed by former Mayor Andy Berke, the aim was to develop a place where entrepreneurs, tech-based startups, and business incubators could mesh and create a so-called innovation ecosystem.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.



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