TX: AI Platform Nift to grow to 1,000 Brazos Valley Employees
29 Jan, 2020
Since its arrival in the Brazos Valley in 2018, Boston-based AI platform Nift has experienced incredible success, so much so that the company is already preparing to expand beyond its initial announcement of employment projections.
By the end of 2020, Nift has a goal of employing 1,000 people in “The Hub of the Texas Triangle,” surpassing the 300-to-400 total noted in July 2018 when the company first announced its arrival in the area.
"When we decided the Brazos Valley would be home to our sales operations, we noted a uniquely deep and qualified talent pool. We have found it to be even deeper than we could have hoped,” said Elery Pfeffer, Nift Founder and CEO. “The employees we are able to bring on board are passionate about improving small business in the Brazos Valley and beyond. We are proud to be able to grow in -- and with -- this marketplace."
Nift is located in the Crosspoint Technology Campus at State Highway 6 and Emerald Parkway in College Station.
Nift (www.gonift.com) builds networks of businesses that use Nifts -- neighborhood gifts -- to promote one another and power local economies. Developed in collaboration with local merchants, Nift uses machine learning to match neighborhood businesses with the right local customers, getting them to walk through the door. The result: Nift fills main street businesses with new customers 10X better than Facebook or Google.
The Brazos Valley Nift operation is helping grow a list of member businesses which currently stands at more than 3,800 across the nation. That includes nearly 100 small businesses in the Brazos Valley, which has recently become a market for the company’s platform. Nift’s business development representatives and sales managers have created and facilitated the distribution of 10 million-plus gifts given to more than 2.8 million people, generating more than $125 million in sales for small businesses.
“The Brazos Valley has an incredibly strong base of talent,” said Matt Prochaska, President/CEO of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation. “We are fortunate that the leaders of such a fantastic start-up not only chose to expand their operations on the strength of that base, but that they are growing so substantially beyond their initial estimates. We are confident they will achieve that goal, and the BVEDC and our community is here to support them.”
With Nift, as with so many companies in the Brazos Valley, Texas A&M University and the Blinn College District have proven to be a huge advantage. Thanks to an incentive-based compensation structure that boasts an earning potential of up to $25/hour, hundreds of Nift’s employees are currently Aggie and Buccaneer students. Many have chosen to stay on with Nift and live in the Brazos Valley after graduation. Retaining an increasing number of the well-educated, well-trained student population is a major objective of the community, one clearly identified as a need in its strategic plan. Nift is helping accomplish this goal.
Sean Castleman, an Aggie and recent full-time hire, began working at Nift as an intern. “The opportunity that Nift has given me is truly once in a lifetime,” he says. “Walking in on my first day as an intern, I would have never expected to partake in a unique environment that promotes personal growth and development at the level Nift takes with its young, mostly college-aged, employees.”
Asked about the work, Castleman adds, “the high energy and positive vibes keep many, including myself, eager to return to the office. Every day, we are advocating a change in local consumerism, and it’s an impact that’s felt by each of the employees that work here.” Castleman describes his decision to stay after graduation as a huge leap: “While the future isn't written in stone, I'm excited to see where this revolutionary company will take me.”
“I began my journey with Nift in April of 2019 as a Market Development Intern. I was in a recruiting class of 20 other A&M students,” says fellow Aggie Cameron Robinson, currently a Team Lead at Nift. Touting new friendships and “skills that no other internship would have provided,” Robinson is ecstatic to have worked his way to being full time in less than a year.
“I have 10xed my professional career and gained more experience than many do in an entire career, Robinson added. “I look forward to the growth of the company and hope to see more fellow Aggies join along as Nift becomes a leader in the market.”
Sydney Harris, who began as an intern and now helps to recruit them, describes her time at Nift as an “opportunity to not only obtain a valuable internship experience, but also build a career that I love within a driven company culture.” Harris quickly adds, “it’s been an indescribable experience watching the growth Nift has seen during my past year with the company. Now, being directly involved in accelerating that growth through recruitment and hiring, I’m able to share the incredible things that Nift is doing with the college students I interact with every day.”
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