Setting up a lemonade stand in the front yard is not what it used to be. Not only does it take passion and tenacity, today’s entrepreneurs know that it takes visionary genius, a superior product and social, mobile, and video advertising.
Enter The Trade Desk. The Trade Desk started out in 2009—quite literally at one desk—in the Ventura Ventures Technology Center, the City of Ventura’s business incubator, located behind City Hall. Before long, they moved on to occupy several desks, then, an office suite, an entire floor, and on to offices all over the world.
“The Trade Desk powers the most sophisticated buyers in advertising technology. Founded by the pioneers of real-time bidding, The Trade Desk has become the fastest growing demand-side platform in the industry by offering agencies, aggregators, and their advertisers best-in-class technology to manage display, social, mobile, and video advertising campaigns,” according to their website.
The Trade Desk recently started trading on the NASDAQ. Shares were expected to be priced at $14 – $16 per share. However, they opened at $28.75 per share because of strong investor interest. By the end of day one, their stock had jumped 67% and the company’s value had risen to over a billion dollars.
Their list of awards reads like a millennial’s career bucket list….Entrepreneur’s Top 25 Company Cultures, Deloitte’s Fast 500, Forbes Magazine’s America’s Most Promising Companies, Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work, just to name a few. In seven years, the company has grown to more than 387 employees and has offices in major US cities such as L.A., San Francisco, Boulder, Chicago, and New York and international offices in London, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney. But their headquarters remain in Ventura and the Ventura Ventures Technology Center was the catalyst that helped make this happen here instead of somewhere else.
Other companies that were launched in the City’s incubator have also gone on to be successful, such as Connexity and MomentFeed. However, after these companies “graduated” from the incubator, they established their headquarters in other cities. Incubators can be effective at helping to launch companies but there is no guarantee that when their business gets off the ground, they will choose to stay where they hatched.
And that is what makes The Trade Desk one of the City’s economic success stories and an asset to our diverse business community. “As a growing global company, they could choose to locate anywhere. The fact that they stayed loyal to Ventura, and have chosen to remain here — less than two blocks from City Hall — where it all began is a testament to the fact that Ventura is a great place to do business,” said City of Ventura Economic Development Manager Leigh Eisen.
The Ventura City Council had the foresight and vision to launch the incubator that helped accelerate their progress. The Council will honor The Trade Desk and host a brief reception to celebrate this milestone at an upcoming council meeting. There will be lemonade.