Atlanta’s Pronto Establishes Canadian R&D Facility in New Brunswick
The team at Atlanta-based Pronto has developed an innovative technology platform allowing them to offer on-demand home repair, with a focus on small jobs around the house. CEO and Co-Founder Erik Stadler says the company hand-picks and vets all ‘Pronto Pros’ to ensure the highest quality work. The company’s professionals specialize in carpentry, plumbing, handyman (e.g. drywall repair), and electrical work. Pronto Pros are not third-party contractors, they are Pronto employees. Pronto also offers standardized pricing and a guarantee on all of its work.
Still headquartered in Georgia, Pronto made its initial move into New Brunswick in early 2016. We caught up with Stadler to discuss an announcement being made today by ONB and Pronto.
ONB: Let’s jump right in with today’s news. What exactly are we announcing?
Stadler: We are excited to formally announce the establishment of our first Canadian R&D facility which will be located in Saint John, New Brunswick, and the creation of up to 20 new full-time positions at that location by 2020.
Why choose New Brunswick for this growth?
We visited New Brunswick and fell in love with the place. Opportunities NB has been terrific in helping us get off the ground in Saint John. More specifically, your team is working with us on workforce strategy and talent recruitment, which is the biggest focus for us right now. They’re helping us find the right people for our specific R&D needs. ONB also helped us find the right office space when we were first getting started here. It’s been a great collaboration thus far.
What work will be done from the Saint John office?
We have our internal software, and then we have our Pronto mobile app. The work in Saint John will focus strongly on our mobile efforts. Customers can use the app to interact with us in a variety of ways. For example, they can text us a picture of what needs fixing so we can quickly assess the job and provide a quote. They can also track the arrival of their Pronto Pro on the map, the same way you track the arrival of your Uber driver. They can see their final invoice via the app and are able to rate their professional. The app is currently available via Play Store and iTunes, and Saint John will lead development for both iPhone and Android.
What positions can we expect to see created here?
At this point, you can expect to see mostly full stack developer roles created, both for the web and mobile. There’s also the potential for some design roles.
At this point, I should mention Elad Shalom, our CTO located in the Saint John office. Elad is terrific and has been with us since our arrival in New Brunswick in April 2016; he spearheads all of our R&D efforts.
Let’s help sell New Brunswick talent on working for Pronto. Your first company, Blue Sombrero, was acquired by Dick’s Sporting Goods and was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by Atlanta Magazine. What’s your secret?
It’s about creating a great culture, which is what we had a Blue Sombrero, and I believe we now have at Pronto. Our culture is that we work really hard, but we have fun and we’re reasonable people. I think that makes for the right mix for a relaxed yet still competitive and focused work environment. Blue Sombrero’s company culture was certainly a major factor in its success, and it will contribute to the success of Pronto as well.
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