Success story Absorb Software will soon be making five floors of the 60-story Telus Sky tower in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, its new headquarters home, and CEO Mike Owens couldn't be more pleased. The LMS provider started 17 years ago in 200 square feet of space and now holds offices in London, Dublin, Shanghai, Sydney, Boston, Tampa, and Salt Lake City. But no matter how far the company grows out into the world – Calgary is always where it’s rooted.
"Calgary has been a great home for Absorb, and since our business has grown so rapidly in recent years, it was time for us to move into a location better suited to accommodate our current team and anticipated growth," says Absorb CEO Mike Owens. Absorb signed a multi-year lease for 80,000 square feet of office space, which will open at the end of February.
Owens founded Absorb LMS after trying to work through online basic training while he worked as a Reservist with the Calgary Highlanders during college. He found the learning management system lacking and he started his own training software company shortly thereafter. The flagship product is Absorb LMS, a market-leading software system that helps customers in the corporate, higher education, government, and non-profit sectors spanning the globe. The company serves 1,100 customers, 12.9 million users in 29 countries, and is continuing to expand.
The company expects to double its size over the next two and a half years, while current employees report a positive work environment. Absorb commits to its employees with benefits like a comprehensive health plan, flexible work schedules, and workspaces meant to inspire and innovate. In September 2017, the firm raised $59 million in venture capital from Silversmith Capital Partners – the money was used in part to accelerate product development, to hire new workers, and global expansion. Absorb recently acquired ePath Learning and eLogic Learning for undisclosed sums in 2019
Calgary Alberta is positioning itself to grow beyond its oil and gas history and become a hub for innovation and technology. According to the Calgary Economic Development organization, the city has the highest concentration of tech workers in all cities in Canada. The province boasts the highest level of entrepreneurs and startup activity per capita, and the town a robust ecosystem to help tech companies flourish.
“With Calgary poised to become a significant tech hub in Canada, Telus Sky is designed to meet and exceed the expectations of the city’s growing creative and technology sectors,” said Roz McQueen, a leasing professional with Westbank, a developer of Telus Sky in connection with Allied and Telus. Calgary is home to 767 privately-owned technology companies.