04 Nov NOLABA News – Tech firm Smashing Boxes picks New Orleans for expansion, 85 jobs

Nola.com

By Greg LaRose

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A digital products agency plans to bring its next operations center to New Orleans, adding 85 jobs to the city’s growing technology sector.

Smashing Boxes CEO Nick Jordan announced the expansion Tuesday (Nov. 4) with Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and local economic development officials. Annual salaries for the available jobs will average $75,000 when the new site opens in early 2016. The company is also expected to make a $500,000 capital investment in the city, according to the governor’s office.

Smashing Boxes is based in Durham, N.C., and also has offices in Montreal. The company builds products and services for established clients and startups that contribute to their presence on the Internet and mobile devices.

Company leaders were introduced to the city during New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week in the spring, according to the governor’s office.

“I was struck by a like-mindedness with the local entrepreneurs and technologists,” Jordan said in a statement. “There’s a community-wide spirit of commitment that’s truly inspiring. Our ambition as a company is to shape the future of technology in New Orleans. We see a real opportunity to do just that — to help build a leading tech community.”

LED began discussing expansion in Louisiana with Smashing Boxes in May. The state’s incentive package includes use of its FastStart workforce development program and the Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive, which provides a 25.2 percent tax credit on qualified payroll for in-state labor and 18 percent for qualified production expenses for expenditures through June 30, 2018. After that date, the tax credit increases to 35 percent for Louisiana labor payroll and 25 percent for production expenses.

The Smashing Boxes announcement comes two weeks after inXile revealed it would open a video game design studio on Oak Street. It expects to hire 50 employees for the location that opens later this year.

Amy Ferguson with New Orleans Business Alliance said the company was still considering where its offices would be located in the city.