US software company BDNA Corporation creating 17 Belfast jobs
A Californian software company has said its decision to open a European base in Belfast was a "no-brainer".
The BDNA Corporation, a privately owned firm based in Mountain View near San Francisco, is creating 17 jobs at its new office in the city and expects rapid growth in the future.
"It can vastly exceed the 17 jobs we're planning to create in this first stage," said Jay Scroggins, executive vice president of engineering and operations.
"I expect that we will hit that number in the first year and will go north of doubling that going forward.
"Our hope is to grow it as soon as we can. This is a core centre for our business - we're doing strategic work here on our flagship products."
Mr Scroggins revealed that the company considered opening its first European office in Cork, but decided that Belfast was a better option because of the quality and availability of the workforce. "It really was a no-brainer for us," he said."It comes down to the people - that's the number one reason for choosing Belfast.
"There's a passion for technology, a plethora of data science knowledge, plus a strong work ethic and culture.
"We're not a low-cost centre and we know we'll be competing for talent. Expertise comes at a pretty penny and we'll be paying for the skills that we need."
Invest NI has offered the company £85,000 toward the recruitment of the staff, with several jobs already in place at the company's offices in the Scottish Provident Building.
"The new jobs will present an exciting proposition for our highly skilled graduates and the talented professionals working in this competitive industry," said Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, who met Mr Scroggins at Stormont yesterday.
"Belfast is Europe's leading destination city for new software development projects and BDNA's decision to locate its team here will further enhance Northern Ireland's reputation within the 'big data' industry."
Mr Scroggins said the Republic's 12.5% rate of corporation tax - and the planned introduction of the same rate here in 2018 - was not important to BDNA. Nor, he said, was the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
"Corporation tax is not a factor for us," he explained. "It's all about the talent and the people. Brexit will have no impact on us and it's not a problem as we expand in Europe."