ASHLAND, OR – What brings a software development company to Southern Oregon? After living in California and Arizona, Jim and Dena Teece chose to move their company, Project A, to Ashland, Oregon, for a combination of business and personal reasons: good transportation options, FedEx service, a small college-town atmosphere, a brew pub and it was friendly to small business.
“When we moved here we were blown away at the brilliant people that we kept meeting,” Jim exclaimed. “The quality of life is so high that brilliant people move here on purpose, and when you have this sea of brilliance, you really can do anything.”
That was 20 years ago—before the Internet—and while there are many more benefits for businesses today, not everything has changed. The quality of life and the quality of resources remains central to people’s happiness and success.
As a provider of e-government solutions, Jim and his team developed an easy and inexpensive way for municipalities to develop websites just as the Internet was taking hold. “I was realizing that a lot of the cities were spending a lot of money to get on the Internet and I don’t like that. I like keeping taxpayers’ dollars wisely used,” Jim explains.
Project A created a “Site in a Box” that any city employee could use to build a website that informed and empowered its citizens. It includes everything from news updates, council agendas and minutes to utility bills and traffic ticket payment systems.
After noticing that most citizens who are city council members are not versed on how to manage a city-sized budget, Jim is currently working on a subscription-based model for cities to help citizens, the city council and staff prioritize their budgets. This alleviates the need and expense of hiring consultants with taxpayer money.
“Chief Disrupter and Host” of the Ashland Innovators Conference, Jim has been a lightning rod, bringing simple solutions to complex problems and bringing people together for the common good. When Jim sees a void, he creates a solution. “We’re small, just 14 people, but I like being a SWAT team. Our team is awesome. It’s the right mix of programmers, designers, project managers and support people. We go in, work on a project and when we’re done, we get out,” Jim explains.
“What would I tell any business that was thinking about moving to Southern Oregon?” “Well, I’d say, do it. Go as fast as you can. Hurry up,” Jim muses. “There are organizations here that are set to help you. They’re here to welcome you with open arms to help you thrive.
“What would I say? I would say welcome to Southern Oregon. We’re ready for you. We are developing a wonderfully supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem with Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI), the Jefferson Grapevine, Sustainable Valley Technology Group Business Accelerator, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), and Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network, among others.”
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