EAST LANSING — The new 63,000-square-foot headquarters building for software company TechSmith on the edge of Michigan State University’s campus is opening its doors to the community Friday.
The new, shiny two-story structure at the corner of Crescent and South Harrison roads cost more than $15 million and was built with a forward-thinking and employee well-being mindset and is designed for employees to collaborate remotely or in-person, company officials said.
“Coming into this space, I finally feel like we have a space that matches who we are and how it feels to be a part of TechSmith,” Vice President of Human Resources Amy Casciotti said. “It’s a physical representation of what TechSmith is about and what it feels like to be here, like cool and edgy and techy.”
TechSmith specializes in screen capture and video editing technology, CEO Wendy Hamilton said.
The TechSmith building sits on approximately five acres that is owned by MSU and leased to the MSU Foundation. The MSU Foundation developed and owns the building.
The company was founded by Wendy Hamilton’s father, 1987 Michigan State University graduate William Hamilton. TechSmith’s employees support over 73 million users worldwide across 190 countries, according to an MSU Foundation press release.
The company’s mission is to help “anybody put knowledge into video” which has become more relevant in recent years, Wendy Hamilton said.
“Since the pandemic, the amount of remote work, remote training, remote education has skyrocketed,” she said. “Many more people are working from home.”
The company started the process of moving its headquarters from Alaiedon Township in 2019 with input from employees. Substantial adjustments were made to reflect lessons learned amid remote work realities throughout the last two years, according to an MSU Foundation press release.
TechSmith Chief Financial Officer Kevin Irwin said the building and its exterior alone was a $15 million to $20 million investment. Another $6 to $8 million was spent on internal setup including furniture and electronics.
The company has about 330 employees who make an average full-time salary of $100,000, not including benefits, Hamilton said.
The company is still hiring and has a robust internship program, with 10 to 15 interns currently but peaks with about 30 interns during the summer. People can find out more on the company’s website, Casciotti said.
She said the company had a pilot group that started coming into the building last week to help figure out networking and get things ready for its open house Friday. The grand opening Friday will start with formal remarks at 1:15 pm from Hamilton and Casciotti, then building tours from 1:30 to 3 pm
TechSmith strategy team members will also lead a collaborative session from 2 to 3 pm to discuss practical ideas and inspiration on “Embracing the New Normal of Hybrid Work,” according to the MSU Foundation press release.
Hamilton said there will be an employee event Saturday for friends and families and employees will be invited back on Monday officially. Employees are allowed to choose a work arrangement that fits their needs even if that means they only work in the office one day a week.
“…Most of our employees will work at home most of the time, and we fully support that,” she said. “Our default work arrangement is 80% of the time at home. So we don’t believe you need to be in the office every day to get work done, certainly not in tech, and we really value that life flexibility it brings our employees.”
But they do believe some face-to-face time is important for building relationships, for building community, for celebrations and energy, she said.
Some of the building’s highlights include an outdoor deck, a filtration system so people can bring in their dogs and not irritate peoples’ allergies, an indoor track for walking even during Michigan winters, and at least 35 collaboration rooms that are equipped with digital whiteboards and multiple monitors for connecting remote employees to in-person employees.
TechSmith is instrumental in the university’s College of Engineering premier capstone programs and over 50% of TechSmith’s full-time employees hold MSU degrees, according to the release.
This new building project represents the next step in the company’s and university’s relationship, MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. said in the press release.
“It’s a great example of how MSU partnerships strengthen our economy, support local jobs, and make Michigan more competitive through the talent we attract and develop,” he said.
TechSmith will be welcoming and encouraging local groups to use the space, such as technology networking groups, and designed common areas to support the needs of those gatherings.
Hamilton said the company intends to use the space to support community technical meetups. It also has a philanthropic focus, representation in STEM, and aims to inspire young students to consider STEM careers.
“And we intend to also use the office to continue those efforts and do that,” she said. “Starting with the day care across the street. They’ve already asked for a tour.”
Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.