Celebrate with us as we officially welcome our 50th Kipsuvian to the team! Our Minnesota-based team has tripled in size since 2016 and is thrilled to cross the 50th team member threshold.
Kipsu traces its roots back to seven years ago when it was a small, “bootstrapped” project for CEO, Chris Smith and his co-founders.
Unlike many startups, Kipsu shied away from a dependency on venture capitalist funding. Although the company took on a limited investment of funds, Kipsu was primarily bootstrapped from the ground up. “I spent ten years of my career as a growth stage venture capitalist working with a well regarded investment fund,” says Smith. “I have a decent network in the venture business, and understand exactly how to raise venture dollars. Oddly, I chose not to.” Kipsu’s unique approach has allowed the company to develop the team (and therefore the culture) in a highly methodical way.
Smith adds, "We have a long term vision for our company. We want to preserve our options to stay independent and supporting our customer partners and Kipsu team members for a long time to come."
The “sweat equity” has paid off! Our dedicated team has signed impressive local customer partners (like the Mall of America, Metro Transit, and Hilton Minneapolis), as well as over 1,500 partners in 27 different countries. To support our growing customer base, we’ve doubled down on hiring. VP of Talent, Victoria Schanen, emphasizes the company's focus on adding new Kipsuvians quickly, without compromising quality.
“We’re looking to add talent to every corner of our team, but Kipsu is an exclusive place to work and we don’t plan to change that anytime soon,” Schanen notes.
Although the quote “Rome wasn't built in a day” may be overused, here at Kipsu the team has methodically built an authentic, motivating culture together through the rigorous hiring process. In Kipsu’s latest employee engagement survey, we found that the number one thing keeping people at Kipsu is (you guessed it) the people! We take our core values seriously-- always “going beyond together” through the relationships we’ve built and continue to build with our fellow team members.
“We’ve built a great culture and truly earned our employees’ loyalty and happiness. It’s how we differentiate ourselves in a relentlessly competitive job market. If we want to be smart about engagement, we’ll continue to hold the hiring bar sky-high,” Schanen comments.
Charlie Lehmann has been at Kipsu for over two years now and has seen the company grow from 13 to now 50. As the founder of Kipsu’s Employee Engagement Committee, he has a passion for sustaining Kipsu's culture as we grow. Charlie has been surprised to see how Kipsu’s culture really hasn’t changed much--staying authentic and down-to-earth.
“The most surprising change in our culture is it hasn’t really changed from 13 to 50... It’s crazy how much everyone really gets along and is very down to earth,” says Lehmann.
Now that our we’ve locked in lucky number 50, the team is looking toward 60, 70, and beyond. We are excited to continue to go beyond together and hire more incredible individuals to enhance the Kipsu team. With multiple positions still listed, 2018 is looking like another year of impressive growth for Kipsu and its inspiring team of Kipsuvians.