Tech CEO Shares Why He’s Leaving SF for SD
This week's local real estate news
Andrew Gazdecki (front row, left) and his team at software firm Bizness Apps. Gazdecki is relocating his company from San Francisco to San Diego. | Photo courtesy of Andrew Gazdecki
Andrew Gazdecki, founder of Bizness Apps, a software firm that’s been ranked one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, is in the process of setting up shop in La Jolla, and plans to have the new office open in May.
So why is tech news being featured in a real estate blog? Because what spurred Gazdecki’s move has everything to do with real estate.
He wrote that the “the cost of living is out of control” in San Francisco, where average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $4,200 a month. Office space there is also at a premium, nearly double what it costs in San Diego, according to a recent report from JLL. Gazdecki said that relocating and providing his employees a reduced cost of living is equivalent to giving them a 30 to 50 percent raise.
We caught up with Gazdecki and asked him a few questions about the move, and why he’s excited about the growing tech sector in San Diego.
Why San Diego, and not L.A. or Seattle? What was it about this city that sold you on relocating here?
We chose San Diego because of the talent we saw from the city. Yes, talent is everywhere, but combined with the quality of living near the ocean—we felt we could do a few things. One, we could recruit entry-level talent from the great universities in San Diego. Two, we could recruit more experienced executive talent from some of the larger technology companies that have been in San Diego for a while (Qualcomm, for example). And three, San Diego is actually one of the most desirable places to relocate (according to Hired.com) for software engineers. So with that combination, we felt it was a perfect fit for us.
Why do you think San Diego is the next tech hub?
San Diego is a town that people want to live in, and I think with the universities having strong computer science programs, over time, we will see startups like ours continue to start and grow in San Diego. It's hard to argue that San Diego will ever be a bigger technology hub than San Francisco, but the city has all the ingredients that are needed to help start ups thrive.
Your Tech Crunch post got a lot of attention. Do you think it will inspire other startups to consider leaving San Francisco for San Diego?
I would hope so! There are many benefits to moving down here. From talent, to lower cost of living, to a much higher quality of life (in my opinion). Plus, the amount of support the city of San Diego has shown us already is absolutely incredible and we couldn't be more excited to call San Diego home.
Are you hiring for the La Jolla location?
Yes we are! Right now, we're mostly working on helping our team relocate and on top of that, we're actively hiring roles for sales, customer service, marketing, software, and even executive leadership positions. So far we've made two (local) hires, one entry level and one at the executive VP level. We plan to really start hiring when we officially open our office in the middle of May.
Tech companies, especially in Silicon Valley, are known for offering their employees generous perks. What kind of perks and benefits might employees find at Bizness Apps’ new office?
Here is our official list of perks, but we also have an arcade and ping pong table already in the office:
Fully paid health benefits; 401K and 12 vacation days; commuter benefits; a laid-back work environment; endless snacks and drinks; company stock options; fun company outings once a quarter; a comfortable working space; frequent Friday happy hours; and the opportunity to grow professionally in the tech industry.
Do you plan on learning to surf? We had to ask!
I do surf, actually! I grew up in San Clemente, and surfed most of my years up through high school. So this is one hobby I'm really looking forward to adding back into my life. I am hoping to trade my morning run with a morning surf everyday. I'm a big advocate of personal health, and I can't think of a better way to start your day than surfing.