High-tech company in Tryon growing quickly

Published 6:57 pm Monday, September 20, 2010

Many people living in the Tryon area drive by kiveo (yes, its a small k); on a weekly basis. They see their ads in the newspaper, but ask anyone on the street what kiveo actually does and most people dont know.

kiveo was formed in 2008 by Miles Phillips, Briley Hooper and Jeremy Edgell, three developers who met at another company and decided to set up their own shop in Tryon. They ran kiveo out of their homes and borrowed space for a year before they moved into their current space at 133 N. Trade Street in Tryon, next door to the Green River Frame Shop.

kiveo got its start developing websites as well as applications for Facebook and mobile phones. Locally, kiveo has developed the Tryon Events website and helped a number of companies in and around Tryon begin or strengthen their Internet presence, including Blaze Realty, the Tryon Daily Bulletin, and the Polk County Sheriffs Office.

In May of this year, kiveo won a major contract with a company that contributes to improving health care globally. Kiveo was hired to develop and support the companys online software applications and to provide help desk support for their end-users.

With the success of these projects, kiveo has undergone explosive growth in the last few months, tripling in size. This has thrilled the entire crew but has also meant that kiveos current office in downtown Tryon is no longer able to hold everyone.

Not wanting to leave Tryon, kiveo has taken over the old Fashion 200 building just down the block from the company’s current office. The Help Desk operation has already been moved into the lower level of the building and everyone is enjoying the much needed space. The partners are excited and hope to complete the move by the end of September.

Outside of Polk County, kiveo has helped design and develop websites and social media applications for a number of clients including The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in New York, Audi Motors (which has now logged more than one million hits on its kiveo-developed Facebook application) and Microsoft.

In recognition of and gratitude for the continued support of the entire community, kiveo’s owners say, they are planning to make good use of the ample window and wall space in their new building by showcasing paintings and other works by local artists.

kiveos owners say their plans for the future are just like their new building big, bright and grounded in the community. They say the new space will give the firm plenty of room to grow and allow the company to pursue exciting new clients and challenges.

None of the three partners is originally from Tryon. Phillips is originally from Des Moines, Iowa. He met his wife Jody online. Phillips came down to Polk County to see her in person and never left. They have four children and live in Tryon.

Phillips attended Iowa State and majored in management information systems. He has nearly a decade of experience in the web industry and has worked for everything from small companies to enormous companies like Sun Microsystems.

Phillips claim to fame is that he can take any data and make it something elegantly usable. When he is not at work, Phillips enjoys spending time with his family, playing games online he is a master of World of Warcraft (WoW) and reading.

Briley Hooper is kiveos senior programmer. Hooper moved to the area in 2007 after graduating from Maryville College in Tennessee with a degree in computer science and business. He is the man behind the curtain who loves coming up with creative solutions to tough problems. Outside of the office, he works part-time as a youth group leader.&bsp; He enjoys hiking and camping or just sitting and watching a good movie.

Jeremy Edgell says he will jump into any project and truly loves to make it better. Edgell speaks German and Spanish and writes in Spanish, German, Italian, French and Portuguese. Edgell attended West Virginia University and James Madison University, and earned his degree in business.

Edgell began his career working in the bilingual field and moved from there to training and technical support. He was born in Elkins, W.V., and has lived in Germany and Costa Rica. Edgell says that when he came down I-26 into Tryon the first time, he knew that he had found his home. He enjoys working around the house and is a true animal lover.

To learn more about the people behind kiveo and the things they do, check out the companys website at www.kiveo.net.

Cheyrl Roig is an account executive with kiveo.