Major International Company Chooses Gainesville

UF Computer Science Professor Gerhard Ritter and MindTree President for the Americas Scott Staples display a copy of the email Staples sent Ritter, launching the company’s decision to come to Gainesville.

Global software development company MindTree Ltd. announced today (March 27) its decision to create its first U.S.-based software development team in Gainesville, bringing at least 400 jobs to town over the next five years.

Choosing Gainesville over competition from Birmingham, Ala., and Greenville, N.C., was easy, said Scott Staples, MindTree’s president for the Americas.

“Gainesville and the state of Florida offered us the perfect combination of business climate and resources and close proximity to one of the region’s leading engineering schools.”

The process started last year, when MindTree, which has no previous tie to Gainesville or the University of Florida, sent an email to Gerhard Ritter, a professor in computer and information science in the College of Engineering, on Nov. 29.

Ritter responded in just over two hours, setting off a whirlwind courtship that included a four-hour visit, during which Alachua County showed itself off to MindTree officials with presentations highlighting the strong collaboration among local businesses, educational institutions and governments.

“We wanted to see if you could deliver, and you guys delivered,” Staples says. “You were No. 1 right away.”

MindTree will locate in the Ayers Medical Plaza at 720 SW Second Ave. (in the Innovation Square area between campus and downtown), initially occupying one floor with 35 employees. As the local presence grows, MindTree, which is based in India and New Jersey, expects that 75 percent of its new hires here will be from Gainesville, Staples says.

MindTree received the Best Corporate, India Award from World Finance magazine in February, and it was ranked third in the best overall corporate governance category by Asiamoney magazine.

Look out for the next Business Report for details on what attracted MindTree to Gainesville, and what it might mean for the city in the next five years.

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