nearForm opens headquarters in Tramore

Cian Ó Maidín with Enterprise Ireland Chairman Terence O’Rourke.

Cian Ó Maidín with Enterprise Ireland Chairman Terence O’Rourke.

100 new tech jobs were announced last week for County Waterford in a major boost for the area as three-year-old Irish technology company nearForm officially opened its new headquarters in Tramore.

The announcement was made by nearForm co-founders, chief executive officer (CEO) Cian Ó Maidín and chief technology officer (CTO) Richard Rodger. Speaking at the launch of the new offices, Cian said, “It’s a really proud day for us to announce these high-end jobs for Tramore. We were strongly urged by many parties to relocate to the U.S. We chose to stay here and build our company in a place where we wanted to raise our families. Our growth to 35 staff over the last three years has vindicated this decision. We look forward to growing in Tramore and hiring local and international expertise to share in our journey.”

Ó Maidín and Rodger started the company in Waterford in 2011, when they were among the first in the world to identify the beginnings of a new era in internet technology that would revolutionise the way business is done online. Richard said, “The key elements of the technology that we specialise in are Node.js and microservices. These technologies empower teams of software programmers to build faster, more stable, more versatile business platforms for large enterprises. nearForm has established itself as a global expert in driving the adoption of these Silicon Valley technologies by large enterprises.”

Officially opening nearForm’s new headquarters, Terence O’Rourke, Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Ireland, said: “A priority for Enterprise Ireland is to support entrepreneurship across the regions and develop strong, export focused, ambitious Irish companies that can win new business and jobs for Ireland. nearForm is an exemplar of the type of company we want to work with: they are innovative, ambitious and determined, and their rapid success to date is highly commendable. I congratulate Cian, Richard and their staff and wish them even greater success over the coming years as they grow to the next level”.

Terence also said he hoped that they at nearForm would add another 100 in a few years’ time. He described it as a crown jewel start up firm with great potential. He also liked their ambition to get in the big league in exporting software services. Ireland’s Glanbia are world champions in food. As the milk quota ends, now there is great opportunity in this new type of Node software. They are a role model for others. EI helped them in USA and in management development.

nearForm counts international publishing giant Condé Nast, Universal and LittleBits Electronics among its clients.

nearForm also puts family friendliness, gender balance and community at the forefront of its business. “We take our responsibility to our staff and the community we live in very seriously,” said Cian. “We’re not a typical start-up, where working weekends and a high-pressure environment might be the norm. We trust our staff to do their work without someone looking over their shoulder. We value happy staff who can make a positive contribution to the community in Tramore.”

They want to raise their families locally and thanked their spouses for all they do even if they must travel so much generating business. New York and London are seen as key places for business says Cian and they have also staff in California, UK, Italy and Romania working for nearForm. Their first customer for them was Universal Studios in the USA. Revenues have since been doubling year on year.

Richard Rodger says that their mission is to make web software easier with simpler architecture via Node software. This will save firms money, because it is simpler and easier with partial open source it is also cheaper, he said on an office tour on the great facility in Tramore with views of the Bay from the offices.

Tramore can be a new silicon beach or bay. Staff can surf or swim at lunchtime, or after work. This lifestyle will attract good staff to the town. Being close to the motorway and the new airlink to London is another advantage says Cian, who must travel out of Ireland for clients. Richard said at the opening that they are like Vikings working with better technology (shops back then) good mapping and enthusiastic people despite the weather. They gave a €1000 donation to the Medieval Museum to show their interest in heritage. Cian’s Dad is a keen historian.

Also striking is the fact that the company has generated so much success with no investment funding to date. Chief operating officer (COO) Paul Savage said, “Sustainable growth has been one of nearForm’s core values from the start. We have maintained control over our own growth. I’m incredibly proud that we have achieved 100% growth year on year, every year.”

Paul said the new Node system is very secure with top class security provided by firms like Cisco, testing also takes place and major firms also use their security team, so working with big firms in London or New York is not a problem.

nearForm are international thought leaders on Node.js and have hosted a number of conferences worldwide on the subject. Next month they will hold the first ever conference in One World Trade Centre in New York, which will be co-hosted by Condé Nast. They also helped organise such a conference in Waterford Castle two years ago, following one in Dublin, where tech execs came from around the world to Waterford.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr James Tobin congratulated them in their work. He liked their energy and work. He could also see why they want to locate in the sunny offices of Tramore and views of the Bay. He was glad the council could assist them as they were spun out of Carriganore and WIT to here.

Cian stated how much those working in software like outdoor activity like the sea, surfing and running.

They also like a nice open air environment, craft beer, good places to eat and a not too dear a place to live and Tramore has these.

Perhaps Tramore can be the Irish silicon beach or bay as Brighton is the silicon beach to London and England, for a high tech coastal location not far from the main centre of population if needs be to get there.

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