This week, Kineo US will move into a brand new loft office space in downtown Chicago. Why? We’ve literally been bursting at the seams as our team continues to grow.
The excitement has been brewing over the past few days as the walls have become bare, team members start boxing up their workspaces, and the space empties out. The move is becoming less of a future concept and more of a reality. This is happening.
For the past year, our Clinton Street office has been stuffed with people. Yes, we have to take turns using the microwave. Yes, the kitchen is only big enough for one person at a time. Yes, the conference room gets a little snug when we have team meetings. And yes, we are just plain running out of room. It’s time.
Moving is bittersweet. The excitement of the new contrasted with the memories of “the good ol’ days.” So how did it all begin? In 2009, Kineo made its way to the shores of the US, with Steve Lowenthal and Cammy Bean, the first two US employees. A very “green” start-up to say the least, they both worked from home offices. Their focus was on rapid eLearning, making a name for Kineo US delivering quicker solutions that looked sharp and made an impact.
Kineo US CEO, Steve Lowenthal, recalls how it all began and his excitement at building a new company.
“I remember being approached about starting a Kineo office in the U.S. and thinking that it was a wonderful opportunity to grow a company from the ground up,” said Steve, “Kineo could divert from the norm -- we would stir things up and offer solutions that other companies weren’t providing, and that drove me to take the plunge. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Nothing ever is. The first year we spent running around building a client base. We definitely had to prove our worth and once we did, people began to take notice.”
Steve Lowenthal, Kineo US CEO, giving a presentation during the "early days" of Kineo US.
Cammy Bean and Steve Lowenthal at ASTD in 2010.
For the first year and a half, Kineo US was primarily home-based and obtained their first office lease in 2011. This was an exciting milestone that allowed for the team to blossom to five employees. Six months later, that first office space was already too small, and by the summer of 2011 we had moved to the Clinton Street space.
Cammy Bean recalls the first official office space. “When we upgraded to the Clinton Street office, it felt like we’d really made it. An office with a kitchen and conference rooms and window! It’s hard to believe that’s been our Kineo US home base for four years already. But we’ve definitely outgrown it in a big way," said Cammy.
Flash forward to 2015, the Kineo team has grown to 30 full-time employees and continues to expand its solution offerings, many of which will roll out Spring 2015.
The Kineo US team celebrating 5 years in 2014. (Sometimes we get a little silly around here.)
Look at all those shining, smiling happy faces! - Kineo Day Summer 2014
As the leader for Kineo US, what drives Steve is less about building a piece of eLearning and calling it a day, it’s about solving real challenges for companies and being a solution provider they can count on.
“So much of the industry is about how do we do good enough and we really want to change that and make it about providing a solution rather than just some training that someone will erase from their mind within minutes of taking.”
With an increasing focus on measurable outcomes, the work Kineo is doing is helping to shape the learning industry. Kineo is well positioned for this shift and to meet the demands of complex business challenges organizations face.
“What excites me the most about Kineo is our continued pragmatic focus on helping organizations meet today’s needs, coupled with our ability and desire to innovate. We help organizations where they are today and help them navigate the new--finding better ways of meeting their team’s performance needs," said Cammy.
It’s clear that Kineo US has come a long way since 2009. However, one thing is for sure. The core--the heart--the essence of Kineo US remains the same. It isn’t the walls that make up this fabulous company, it’s the energy and passion of a team who thrives on continually making our clients successful. It’s the innovative minds and fresh thinking that stirs things up and makes eLearning more than clicking on a screen, but an experience people enjoy and benefit from. It’s why we do what we do and why we love it.
Here’s to a new adventure! Stay tuned for photos of the new space!