Klipfolio, the Ottawa-based developer of business analytics dashboards, debuted its new 17,000-square-foot space in the World Exchange Plaza to guests at a Techopia VIP event on Thursday night.
CEO Allan Wille told the assembled Ottawa tech crowd that this wasn’t the official premiere, but rather more of a sneak peek at the coming attraction, a fitting preview of the redesigned space that formerly housed a multi-screen movie theatre.
Signs of the space’s former identity remained: there were vaulted ceilings as high as the silver screen and a mezzanine space where the projector once sat, now overlooking desks rather than rows of velvet-lined seats.
Wille says that when it came time for the growing firm to move, he was expecting to find space in a B-class building. When he got an offer to tour the World Exchange Plaza’s vacant space, which the building owners applied to have converted to office space when former tenant Empire Theatres left in 2013, he was simply curious.
“Let’s just have a peek. We’re not even going to consider this,” he said. “A-class buildings were certainly not what we were expecting to move into.”
While he was blown away by the space’s potential, Wille said it was a generous offer from the landlord that sealed the deal.
To redesign the space, Klipfolio turned to the architectural studio Linebox, the same firm that did Shopify’s current digs. While Wille says he was confident in Linebox’s work, he was a bit hesitant at first – it was important to him that his company not get a “Shopify clone.”
“We’ve got our own culture; can we work with this team to emphasize that? It totally worked,” he told the crowd.
The Klipfolio team moved in six weeks ago. Wille told OBJ last year that the space would have room for 120 employees “and beyond,” with an option to lease an additional 7,000 square feet in the building.
You can watch the video above to hear Wille’s thoughts on maintaining his growing company’s culture and recruiting in the midst of the city’s “talent crunch” in a Techopia Q&A.