Home suite home: Tech company keeps fun vibe in new, high-rise space

What happens when a startup moves out from an incubator into its own space?

Well, it’s kind of like a new university grad moving out of a shared house into her own apartment.

She experiments with crazy colours (I had a lime-green statement wall in my living room once); moves the foosball table around; re-arranges the dishes a few times.

Eventually, as she matures, the hand-me-down furniture is replaced with IKEA furniture. The chipped dishes are upgraded to a complete set. (Note: I’ve still not done this).

And then, maybe she gets married or moves in with her partner. And another change happens — styles need to mesh; furniture is jointly purchased.

The couple may even go antiquing for fun.

The office design process is similar.

When I visited the newly opened NetSuite offices in Kitchener (Suite 900, 55 King St. W.) I was reminded of a couple newly married.

TribeHR, a local human resources software company, was acquired by NetSuite, a cloud business software suite, in the fall of 2013.

The last time I had been in the TribeHR office space at 305 King St., it had its own clear fun style and culture.

Would the NetSuite office space be overly corporate? Would it look like every other large tech space? Would the cheerful fun community vibe from TribeHR still be around?

The new NetSuite offices, in my opinion, are an example of what you should do when merging and expanding companies. NetSuite allows different offices to have their own look and feel, while still following some brand guidelines.

Want a peek at NetSuite’s 10,000 square feet nine floors above King Street? Join me as I wander through the space with Tammy Burton, Executive Assistant at NetSuite.

Burton said NetSuite chose to remain downtown, a strategic decision to be close to the Communitech Hub. It was also important to create new space with a relaxed, homey feel.

“We have a culture of fun and family,” Burton said. “We don’t take ourselves seriously but we take work seriously.”

“Everyone should feel at home.”


Summer’s winding down, and those back-to-school ads are everywhere. It isn’t quite time to hang up the swimsuits, though. I see and hear that . . . The Boys in the Photograph, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber, is being produced by the Singer’s Theatre this weekend at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, 36 King St. W., Kitchener. The show runs four times from Friday, Aug. 21 to Sunday, Aug. 23. Tickets are $21 each. Stay cool and check out some amazing local talent, including a Communitech staff member’s daughter . . . This Saturday, Aug. 22 is Aviation Fun Day at the Region of Waterloo International Airport, 4881  Fountain St. N., Breslau. The event runs 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and admission is free with a non-perishable food donation. There is a $3.50 parking fee. The event gives visitors of all ages a behind-the-scenes look at the airport, and how the air-transportation industry operates . . . Next Thursday, Aug. 27, is the Kitchener Waterloo Poker Chicks monthly tournament. The event, open to women in Waterloo Region, is hosted at Ernst and Young, 515 Riverbend Dr., Kitchener. Buy-in is $15 and includes beverages and snacks. Don’t worry if you haven’t played before: lessons begin at 7 p.m., followed by a guest speaker and the tournament.


About The Author

Kayleigh Platz

Kayleigh Platz is a storyteller and community relations manager for Communitech. Born, raised and schooled in Waterloo Region, she holds two degrees from the University of Waterloo and is interested in new media, social networks and making connections.