DETROIT— Stik.com, a website that uses Facebook to bring the business referral process online, announced it is moving from San Francisco to downtown Detroit’s growing technology district to grow its business. The company will move into the Madison Building, a tech hub designed to encourage collaboration among local entrepreneurs and their budding companies.
Company co-founders Jay Gierak and Nathan Labenz are both from the Detroit area, and attended Harvard University where they were classmates and housemates with Mark Zuckerberg and the other founders of Facebook. Gierak and Labenz moved to Silicon Valley after graduation to build Stik.com, which launched in 2010.
Stik.com helps small companies that heavily rely on word-of-mouth referrals to acquire business and build a reputation through testimonials. The site also helps consumers find professional help they can trust when making important purchases such as a mortgage or insurance, directly through Facebook. Now, the men are returning to their roots to further grow their personalized referral business.
“Downtown Detroit is developing something special around its burgeoning tech community, and we want to be part of it,” said Labenz. “We are excited to collaborate with other Detroit-based companies that are making a positive impact, and we are eager to grow our business with some of the best tech talent in the country.”
Stik.com will join many other prominent tech and creative companies in the Madison Building, such as Twitter, Detroit Venture Partners, Skidmore Studio, and Detroit Labs, which are committed to making Detroit a technology hotbed. Stik.com currently employs six team members, however the company plans to hire more software engineers when it lands in Detroit.
“The fact that Stik.com is moving to the Madison Building from Silicon Valley is more proof that downtown Detroit’s energetic tech core has something to offer up-and-coming technology companies,” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.
“It’s promising companies like Stik.com that will continue to strengthen the city’s tech environment — and downtown Detroit as a whole — as more people relocate and bring bright ideas with them,” Gilbert added.