The passage to the Grand Phoenix
In 2019, Zhou reconnected with former colleague Nicholas Meissner, a prominent name in the equipment trading community for the past 12 years. Meissner lived in Chandler and was interested in joining Zhou and Moov, but he didn’t want to move to the Bay Area.
Moov continued to build in San Francisco while opening a satellite office in Chandler. It quickly became clear that further moves to the Greater Phoenix would facilitate additional growth opportunities.
âWhen the pandemic hit, we really doubled Arizona’s growth,â Zhou said. âThe Arizona office has far exceeded the size of our San Francisco office, and we’re just all-in on growing Arizona.â
The office moved from Chandler to Tempe in September 2020 and became internally known as HQ2 – HQ1 being in San Francisco – as staffing grew in the region. By March 2021, 80 to 90 percent of Moov’s employees were in Arizona, Zhou said, and it has become “very obvious that this is where the company is located.”
Operating in Greater Phoenix has allowed the company to continue to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic. With such a high degree of its operations located in the region, it became a natural step for the company to transform its base in Greater Phoenix into a full time corporate headquarters. In March 2021, Moov announced that Greater Phoenix had become the new HQ1.
âBeing Silicon Valley’s new shiny object transplant here definitely has its benefits,â Zhou said. “People, their ears straighten up, their eyes light up, and they’re just very receptive to us coming.”
âThe potential for growth here, just in terms of families, businesses in general, as well as the opportunity for growth in the semiconductor industry itself, has provided us with much more accessibility as a company, âsaid Lauren Stellwag, COO of Moov.
âArizona is very appealing to families, it’s very appealing to business, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why Nicolas Meissner was also here at the start. This has obviously really led to our success as a company here.
Zhou predicts that the region’s business-friendly environment will ease their transition to being headquartered only in Greater Phoenix. Moov is in talks with local organizations for incentives, has been introduced to the Greater Phoenix House, has worked with GPEC, and is in the process of applying for the Quality Jobs Tax Credit program. As the company becomes more established, it will begin to expand beyond its already existing network, Zhou said.
Continuous and immediate growth is expected. He expects to have around 50 employees by the end of 2021, then, “conservatively”, the number of employees will triple or quadruple each year and create hundreds of jobs in Greater Phoenix over the next few years. years.
This transition and growth will be facilitated by the abundance of talent produced in higher education institutions. The state of Arizona has a campus in Mesa dedicated to fields such as engineering and technology, and its business school has 30 programs ranked in the top 25 for its discipline nationally, the most schools in the country. ASU and other local colleges are in contact with Moov, and the company has joined Handshake, an employment and recruitment platform that allows students and recent graduates to build profiles and connect with potential employers. .
âASU has a phenomenal MBA program so I can definitely see this will help us in the future,â Stellwag said. âIt’s definitely a rapidly growing state and business, and even a personal ecosystem, and I’m very optimistic about the direction and momentum Arizona sees and will see in the decade and more.â