App Developer Expands Columbus Staff by 50%

WillowTree’s Growth Fueled by Pandemic

By Terry Troy

WillowTree a mobile app developer and digital product agency, is expanding its presence in Columbus, creating 50 new jobs. Hiring for software engineers, designers and project managers will begin in the second quarter.

Currently employing 108 full-time staff at its office, the expansion increases the company’s Columbus-based workforce by over 50%. It will help meet heightened demand in the digital product space fueled by COVID-19.

Since its acquisition of the Columbus-based digital agency Dynamit in 2019, WillowTree has continued to grow in other established markets, and scaling its Columbus office will help the company manage increased customer volume.

“Competition for recruiting in the technology industry is at an all-time high, and we are confident that we will find world-class talent in the Columbus Region to help fill a variety of hyper specialized roles,” said Tobias Dengel, WillowTree’s CEO. “Scaling our workforce here is an integral part of our strategy to meet the current surge in demand for digital products.”

Founded in 2008 as a pioneering mobile app development company, WillowTree has grown into a full-service digital product consultancy partnering with the world’s leading brands to design and build digital flagship products crucial to their core business. The company is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its clients include brands such as HBO, Johnson & Johnson and National Geographic.

“More and more, forward-thinking companies like WillowTree look to Columbus as a hub for innovation and growth in the tech industry,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther, mayor of the City of Columbus. “We are thrilled with WillowTree’s investment in our Region’s talent pool, and we look forward to seeing them continue to thrive here.”

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther

Technology operations in the Columbus Region are deep and diverse, spanning industries such as retail, finance and headquarter operations. Anchored by The Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the U.S., the Columbus Region’s colleges and universities supply a steady pipeline of young talent, especially in high-demand fields such as engineering and computer science. Columbus is in Franklin County, which is home to an estimated 1,310,300 residents.

“Businesses large and small have sought to digitize their operations over the past year, expanding the need for WillowTree’s services,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “Along with our partners, JobsOhio looks forward to working closely with WillowTree as it adds 50 new jobs to meet growing demand for its successful app development operations in the Columbus Region.”

J.P. Nauseef

Goosehead Grows in Columbus, Too

Goosehead Insurance Inc., an independent personal lines insurance agency with nationwide reach, has announced plans to expand to Columbus as well, creating 100 new jobs. Hiring for sales positions and account managers will begin later this year.

Texas-based Goosehead plans to open a new national sales center in Columbus. The new national sales center in Columbus will accommodate the company’s recent business growth in its

personal lines of insurance and will focus on securing and servicing customers through Goosehead’s advanced proprietary technology platform.

“Scaling our sales workforce in Central Ohio will help accommodate the significant growth we’re experiencing at Goosehead,” said Michael Colby, Goosehead president and COO. “We considered markets with a proven ability to attract new talent and also retain existing talent generated through higher education, and the Columbus Region’s strong insurance workforce and proximity to more than 50 higher education institutions meant it fit the profile in all of these categories.”

Founded in 2003, Goosehead represents over 140 insurance companies that underwrite primarily personal lines. Its agents leverage proprietary technology to help consumers quickly and easily shop the market, finding them the right coverage at the best price. The company is based in Westlake, Texas, and its operations include a network of nine corporate sales offices and over 1,468 operating and contracted franchise locations.

“Goosehead joins a strong class of innovative insurance companies in the Columbus Region leading the massive technological transformations in the industry,” said Andrew J. Ginther, city of Columbus Mayor. “Goosehead’s young workforce and strong focus on developing early career talent will be an asset to our business community, particularly the next generation of insurance industry talent that we’re nurturing here in Columbus.”