Pillar, based in Columbus, Ohio, with offices — known as the Forge — in Des Moines, is a technology consulting firm that develops embedded software used in smart, connected products such as autonomous vehicles. It also offers rapid and agile development and testing of enterprise-grade applications, software products and platforms associated with physical products, and digital services engineering for hardware products.
“I’ve been through a couple acquisitions in my career, and often with acquisitions, companies come in and assimilate and try to change what you’re doing. This one feels different and is something our people are very excited about,” said Linc Kroeger, Vanguard of Future Ready Iowa at Pillar Technology. “It really brings opportunity we didn’t have. The connections, the finances, the ability to roll out Forges across the planet. It gives us more opportunity to really go after the kinds of work we really like because it opens the doors to so many relationships we didn’t have.”
Pillar says that the acquisition will not affect their plan to create two new Forge locations in Jefferson and Council Bluffs. The Forge in Jefferson is still expected to open in May of 2019 and Pillar is currently in the process of negotiating the lease for the Council Bluffs location.
Currently, Pillar has just under 70 employees in the state of Iowa and expects to add 25-30 more employees with the new location in Jefferson.
“Our focus on rural Iowa is to help those who have been left behind,” Kroeger said. “How do we, not just in Iowa, but nationally, bring new opportunities to places that currently don’t have access to them.”
In addition to opening a new Forge in Jefferson, Pillar Technology intends to begin a software development workforce training program in collaboration with the Greene County Community School District, other neighboring K-12 school districts, and Iowa Central Community College.
“There are so many markets that need a Forge. If we weren’t already in Iowa before the acquisition it would have been difficult to bring this to Iowa,” Kroeger said. “So for us to already have two Forges and possibly a third is really phenomenal because it’s going to bring a whole set of talent and benefits to the state.”
The agreement comes as Accenture simultaneously acquired Mindtribe, a hardware engineering firm based in San Francisco. Mindtribe uses Agile techniques to create connected hardware that integrates with digital services.
Financial terms were not disclosed for either of the acquisitions.