You’re a life-long entrepreneur. You’ve been at the helm of one of the most respected companies in your industry. But now it’s time for a new challenge, time to nurture a fledgling business and it watch take flight. But where do you begin?
If you’re Andrew Rose, former CEO of Elephant Auto Insurance, you stay with what works. For his new venture, it was all about location — the one where he’d already been thriving. So he set up comparenow.com, a car insurance comparison website, in Innsbrook, in the same office park Elephant Auto Insurance calls home.
“Henrico County is very supportive of entrepreneurs, and Innsbrook is a terrific location for starting a business,” says Rose. “Being so close to I-295 and I-64 allows easy access to our offices for visitors coming from around the region or for employees commuting from other parts of Richmond,” he says.
Additionally, the residential areas and services offered in and around the Innsbrook office park — post office, dry cleaning, shopping, dining — mean that it’s a convenient place to live, which helps with recruiting. “I’ve had a very good experience starting businesses in Henrico County and would recommend the Innsbrook area to other entrepreneurs as they consider where to get started,” Rose says.
Comparenow.com is designed to simplify the process of shopping for online auto insurance by allowing users to compare real, unbiased quotes side by side. While it’s still in beta testing, the company has ramped up services, expanding from five to 21 states and adding new insurance companies each month, including The Hartford in December. New markets reach as far as the West Coast with comparenow.com TV ads airing in California as the company begins building its brand.
When former Allianz Global Assistance CEO Jon Ansell launched his new venture, Fusion Company, the question wasn’t where to move, but, rather, why not stay put? Which is exactly what happened — namely at 9950 Mayland Drive in Richmond.
In a Henrico County EDA Spotlight Series video, Ansell spoke about the benefits of doing business in Henrico. “It met our needs perfectly,” he said.
“One doesn’t need to be in a large city in order to get the language and cultural skill sets we were able to find here in Henrico.” In fact, both Allianz and Fusion operate on a global scale.
“The cost of living in Henrico was much less than the northeastern states,” he continued. “And Virginia is very business-friendly — the county and governor were actively involved in helping to train and hire employees in the region.”
Fusion, which spun off from Allianz as a separate entity in 2012, is a technology and marketing company that provides measurable value through its patent-pending marketing optimization services.
The company’s mission is to reinvent the online retail experience by converting shoppers to buyers. To do this, Fusion helps companies sell the right products more often by combining customer and product insights with a merchandising platform that delivers progressively better results. The company current has clients in 46 countries.
These CEOs know that Henrico County offers the right location and resources to grow their new businesses. Ready to learn more? Visit Henrico.com/WhyHenrico? today!