A Blacksburg business was recently recognized by the governor of Virginia for it's entrepreneurial spirit.
Heyo, a small, rapidly growing social media company formerly known as Lujure Media Inc., has announced it will be expanding its enterprise in Blacksburg. The expansion comes in the form of a $100,000 investment and an estimation of 50 jobs to be created over the next two years.
The announcement was made in a release from Governor McDonnell’s office Tuesday, where the governor himself expressed praise for the startup’s entrepreneurial roots and quick growth.
"2012 is designated as 'The Year of the Entrepreneur,' and I can't think of a better example of why Virginia is the best place for entrepreneurs than Heyo's rapid success in Montgomery County,” said Governor McDonnell in the release. “This student-founded company was born in a spare room in Blacksburg nearly two years ago, and has taken off. It is gratifying to see these innovators in our commonwealth bring an idea to fruition that results in venture capital flowing into Blacksburg and Montgomery County."
Heyo provides an application that helps the owners of small and medium sized businesses build and customize Facebook fan pages, mobile apps and websites. It is marketed with a focus on ease and quality, allowing business owners with minimal experience in web design to create effective page layouts.
According to the release, Heyo has had more than 100,000 businesses utilize its application to make more than 120,000 fan pages, sites, and apps.
While no location has been specified for where Heyo plans to set its headquarters, Mayor Ron Rordam of the Town of Blacksburg is excited for the group’s impending entrance into Blacksburg’s tech business scene.
“Blacksburg is really already a hub for tech-based entrepreneurship, Heyo being just one of the newest choosing to expand and grow here,” explained Rordam.
Rordam is also ready for what opportunities this may afford students of nearby universities.
“What we find so often is students, when they go to a nearby university, they become part of a community,” Rordam said. “If you have progressive, growing companies in the localities, it attracts students to stick around after graduation.”
Creator Nathan Latka, a former Tech student, and technical co-founders Josh Gunter and Brian Putt started the company in 2010. As they move forward with the development of their company, they have received more than $550,000 in funding from angel investors.
Its latest group of investors includes TechStars, a company with top venture capital firms, and the Center for Innovative Technology, a non-profit organization that commercializes and funds high-growth technology companies.