Finnish design agency opens Austin operations

Mar 14, 2014
Austin American Statesman

A Finnish design agency has opened an Austin studio to tap into the local talent pool and expand its client base in Central Texas. Idean plans to hire at least 20 people this year at its new downtown offices on East Sixth Street. The company is currently hiring visual designers, developers and business development and recruiting staff


Founded in 1999 in Tampere, Finland, Idean specializes in helping companies create user interface designs for their products. It has worked with thousands of companies including IBM, Sony and Samsung as well as startups


Idean is the latest company based outside of Austin to announce expansion plans here. New York-based software maker Signpost last month announced plans to hire up to 75 workers at its new Austin office


Meanwhile, Australian software maker Atlassian recently opened operations in Austin to support its expansion in North America. It plans to eventually hire as many as 300 workers in Central Texas


Austin is Idean’s second U.S. site. The firm has 50 employees in Finland and 40 in Palo Alto, Calif.


Risto Lahdesmaki, founder and CEO, said the company was drawn to Austin by its skilled workforce and quality of life


Idean typically completes about 200 projects a year in the U.S. and in Europe. For Accenture, Idean created a mobile app that lets participants take part in virtual workshops and allows facilitators to collect and share data from questions, poll and survey results


The firm, which is self-funded, posted revenue of $14 million in 2013 and is profitable, Lahdesmaki said


The company is ramping up for a new wave of growth, and the Austin studio will play a role by allowing it to pursue more business here. Idean already works with a number of companies with operations in Austin, including IBM


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