App maker Ville Houttu believes that success stems from “getting the right people on the bus.” 

A busload of talent

International tech firm chooses Irvine

by TOM BERG

App maker Ville Houttu believes that success stems from “getting the right people on the bus.”  That’s why he moved his company — Vincit California — from Silicon Valley to Irvine Spectrum.

“We focus on our employees,” he says. “We feel that if we keep our employees happy, they’ll keep our customers happy – and we’ll grow a lot faster.”

So far, it’s working.

Two years ago, Houttu set out to create the first American office of Vincit – a software development company in Finland that was named “Best Workplace in Europe” in 2016.

He launched his venture in Silicon Valley, but employees moved around too fast for him to establish a company culture. After six months, Houttu packed the Vincit bus (painted with “Peace, Love, Code”) for Irvine.

He’s since grown from three to 21 employees (affectionately known as Vincitizens) and fostered strong relations with UC Irvine students and grads.

“We love the business climate here, and the live-work-play balance,” he says. “I think this is the direction that software and high-tech companies will move.”

Clients include Yamaha Watercraft, Kellogg’s Cereal and Friar Tux Stitch & Tie.

“Spectrum is unique,” he says. “I’ve noticed a lot of clients like to visit us here because after our meeting, we can go for coffee, dinner, cocktails or whatever — without having to drive.”

 

Irvine’s young, high-tech talent pool is a draw for tech firms like Vincit — and one reason why Irvine has the most jobs per resident in America.