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July 05, 2016 | Tom Ballard

Maryville College, Cirruspath have a special connection

Maryville College-teknoBy Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

There is something pretty special about the connection between Cirruspath, a start-up with a strong local presence, and Maryville College.

“Basically, one-half of our local staff members are graduates of the college,” Co-Founder Brandon Bruce told us recently. The bi-coastal company, started by Bruce and college classmate Ryan Huff in 2012, has about 20 employees in Irvine, California and roughly 30 in West Knoxville. The California site houses the engineering staff, while Knoxville is home to marketing, sales and support.

The needs in Knoxville align very well with the graduates of Maryville College.

“We’ve really benefitted from having generalists on the local team,” Bruce says in describing the classical liberal arts education that Maryville College provides. “We need individuals with critical thinking and problem solving skills.”

Like many innovative companies, Cirruspath seeks people who fit this profile, then have them work in all areas of the business – sales, support and marketing in the case of the local office – before finding a final landing spot.

“Many of them help us figure-out their fit in the company,” Bruce notes.

Cirruspath specializes in integrating Salesforce with Gmail, Outlook, Office 365, iPhones and iPads, and Android devices.

In terms of the number of Maryville College graduates on the team, it probably helps that Bruce was a member in institution’s advancement and community relations team before joining Huff in founding Cirruspath. His wife is a faculty member.

Rather than place ads for people, the company relies of word of mouth and referrals to attract individuals.

“We want people who enjoy being part of a high growth start-up,” Bruce says.

Cirruspath has added a number of customers in the four years since its founding.

“We’re really good at serving media, technology, non-profit, and higher education customers,” Bruce says.

More important, he proudly notes that Cirruspath has not been forced into a major pivot even as the space gets more crowded.

“We’re nimble and we hustle, so our advantage is being first with innovative product features and being creative with how we go to market,” Bruce says.

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