AI / Business / Hiring / Internet

NYC cloud provider CoreWeave has been growing a Philly office with local tech scene alumni

Since 2020, Philly technologist Max Hjelm has been growing a local arm of the company, with plans to expand.

Philly and New York CoreWeave employees at a November 2022 gathering. (Courtesy photo)
Bridget Schrier has had a taste of life at a handful of Philly tech scene mainstays.

She spent nearly five years at Center City’s Curalate before moving to Radnor-based Relay Network. After another two-year stint working for a London-based tech firm that was considering creating a Philly office, she moved to her current position: senior marketing manager with NYC-based CoreWeave.

But she’s not in the Big Apple. Schrier joined the specialized cloud service provider last spring at its Philly hub, established by fellow Curalate alum Max Hjelm in 2020. Hjelm, VP of sales, and the company’s CTO and cofounder, Brian Venturo, went to school together at Haverford College, and aimed to work together some day.

When the company was growing three years ago, the leadership team felt Hjelm was the right fit. And it wasn’t a question where he’d establish their go-to-market team: Philadelphia.

“People care deeply, and hold each other to a high standard (go Birds!),” he told in an email. “There’s an absolutely incredible opportunity for Philly to become even more of a tech hub considering the schools in the area, accessibility being located between NYC and DC, the sense of community and professional talent. I cut my teeth in tech at Curalate, have worked closely with Comcast LIFT Labs, and am incredibly excited for the city to learn about what we’re building at CoreWeave as our Philly team continues to grow.”

In general, there's a lot of scrappy, innovative companies here. That fits well with CoreWeave’s overall culture.

CoreWeave, with a team of about 80, caters to smaller startup and early-stage ventures and projects. The cloud service provider is a “major partner” with NVIDIA, the AI computing company that designs and manufactures graphics processing units, and uses GPU servers; CoreWeave operates its own hardware at a few data centers across the country. This type of cloud computing’s popularity is growing because its core component is compatible with AI and machine learning tasks, Schrier said.

The system is newer than huge, competing cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Azure, and it’s built using kubernetes, which allows the team to scale quickly, she said. The way it’s built also allows them to be “35% faster and about 85% less expensive” than their big-name competitors.

Over the past few years, the parts of the market CoreWeave focuses on — AI, machine learning, animation, biotech and the metaverse — have evolved so much, Hjelm said.

“Our clients build foundational AI models and use them to power products that fundamentally change how people engage with technology,” he said. “They create film and episodic TV that entertains millions of people on the major streaming platforms, they discover new drugs faster and detect disease earlier, and build immersive digital experiences to reach more than ever before.”

Since 2020, Hjelm has added seven full-timers to the Philly team, which works on a hybrid schedule out of WeWork’s 1100 Ludlow St. location. The team mostly consists of sales, marketing, and client and customer success roles. They’re in the process of bringing on their eighth local person, and Schrier said there’s more Philly-area hiring in store in the next six months to a year.

After Schrier and Hjelm both spent years working within the Philly tech scene, they believe the city was a natural fit for expanding the NYC company’s footprint.

“In general, there’s a lot of scrappy, innovative companies here, and I think that fits well with CoreWeave’s overall culture,” Schrier said. “It made sense to have the go-to-market org here.”

Companies: Curalate

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