But Genscape, founded right here in Louisville, has changed the game. And they’ve done so on a global scale.
The Genscape story
Genscape was founded in 1999 by two power traders, Sean O’Leary and Sterling Lapinski, who grew frustrated with the lack of transparency in the markets. They wanted to create new technologies that would expand data access to more market participants, enabling them to make smarter decisions.
Genscape was the nation’s first supplier of real-time power plant output and transmission information to support decision-making for energy traders, power plant owners and operators, regulators, and other energy market participants.
Using patented technologies and proprietary algorithms, the company provides timely data and intelligence to the global commodity and energy markets. Its customers use that information to better understand market drivers, risks and dynamics.
Over the last 15 years, Genscape has continued to innovate and has been awarded more than 65 patents. They now operate the world’s largest private network of in-the-field monitors — including satellite reconnaissance, artificial intelligence, and maritime freight tracking.
These diverse capabilities allow the company to measure market fundamentals, deliver insights and create a competitive advantage for their clients, which today come from a variety of industries.
The next chapter: a new home
Given the incredible growth the company’s experienced, it was time to find a new office space that could house the expanding team, but that was still consistent with company culture and gave a nod to its Louisville roots.
The search led them to 1140 Garvin Place in the Old Louisville business district.
“We’d looked at some other options, but we kept seeing all these cool, old structures,” says Annie Edwards, Genscape’s chief people officer and general counsel. “This space was ideal because of the way it was set up and we could make it our own.”
Built in the 1900s, the building was formerly a distillery and also housed a dairy company.
The company has a history of investing in impoverished areas that later become gentrified hotspots. “We did this before when we moved to NuLu 10 years ago,” says Edwards. “It’s part of our DNA. We want to share with the communities we might help, instead of going to the areas everyone already is. I think it says a lot about the type of people who work here.”
“You’ve got the beauty of Old Louisville, the grand Victorian homes, the tree-lined streets, the historic brick sidewalks,” says Edwards. “Then there’s this no-man’s-land between Old Louisville and the revitalized areas of downtown.”
Today, the place has been transformed into an ultra-hip, modern work space. Everywhere you turn is a lighting fixture that looks like art. The vibe is ‘cool, urban loft’ — not what you might expect from a company that specializes in algorithms. From the exposed brick to the open-concept seating, the custom, locally-sourced furniture to the rooftop deck, the space is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.
“We are all about innovation and we wanted a space that encourages total creativity, one that pushes you a little bit,” Edwards says. “We are flat, non-hierarchical and very informal. There are no mahogany walls, no private offices, not even for our CEO.”
Other amenities in the new space include:
- A full, commercial kitchen — “It’s called the Town Hall,” says Edwards. There’s beer, wine and food. A team came in early to make a pancake breakfast together the other day. In the evenings around 5, if folks are still doing work, they can come down and grab a beer while they finish talking.”
- A mezzanine wet bar — “We converted what used to be the second floor into a mezzanine. There’s now a balcony that runs along the top of the floor,” Edwards describes. “Instead of office space, it’s lounge space. It feels like you’re in a hotel lobby. There are couches, a fridge and a wet bar where you can hang out.”
- A rooftop deck — “We’ve got super-duper Wi-Fi and everybody’s got laptops,” says Edwards. “If you’ve got a long conference call and you’d prefer to Skype outdoors on a nice day, you can.”
- A full-service gym with a locker room — “We encourage employees to use of all the space’s amenities whenever they choose,” Edwards says. “If you like to workout at 10 a.m. — go for it. No one’s thinking you should be sitting at a desk. It’s just part of our culture.”
- A bike share program — “We’ll have 15 bikes for employees to use so they can bike to NuLu or Bardstown Road to get lunch.
Opportunities at Genscape
Occupying the new space are teams of data scientists, engineers, R&D and analysts, as well as corporate functions like legal and finance. About 100 of the company’s 390 employees are based in Louisville.
Genscape looks for candidates with mathematics, statistics, physics, data science and engineering backgrounds. They also need software and database developers. A passion for working with data, conducting research, analysis, and data-modeling is a must.
Genscape will be hiring 35 interns across the company this summer and currently has multiple technical opportunities available. Check them all out here.
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