A Birmingham tech firm is moving from one hot city district to another.
Sigao Studios has moved from 2,000 square feet along Second Avenue North downtown into 4,500 square feet in the Martin Biscuit building in the Pepper Place area.
President and CEO Chris Sims said the lease was up in their downtown spot in March, and he shopped around for a place to relocate 16 employees. During the pandemic, work shifted to a virtual and at-home focus, and now they have the office set for a new start above the acclaimed Hot and Hot Fish Club.
“We looked all over,” he said. “We originally were looking at a place downtown that fell through for various reasons. When we were looking, we looked everywhere from The Denham to Third Avenue, Second Avenue. When we looked at everything, we just loved Pepper Place. It’s just a really cool area that’s attractive to the employees that we have now and those we’re looking to add.”
The expanded space and the company’s affiliation with the Scrum program also will enable Sims to bring on another senior leadership employee after the transition to the new space.
Sims has been working with Scrum, which offers companies a framework for effective team collaboration on complex products, since October 2019. That connection brings Sigao Studios’ and the Birmingham name into Fortune 100 companies nationwide.
“We coach the people that coach the people,” Sims said. “This spring, I became a licensed Scrum trainer — one of the first 100 in the world.”
Sigao is also taking its employee knowledge and Scrum savvy to Birmingham entrepreneurs.
“In January, we started doing a class that was just meant to be internally, but we invited a few people, word of mouth, just friends that were interested,” he said. “That turned into, within like two weeks, a 40-person class partnered with Innovate Birmingham. I’ve been working with them for a while, so we’re able to offer scholarships. From the end of January until today, through the Innovate and public classes that we’ve offered, we’ve had over 170 students since the end of January.”