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Construction software company to double Tampa workforce

On a visit to Tampa, Procore Technologies' founder discussed the importance of seeing work firsthand and growth plans for Tampa expansion.


  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:00 a.m. March 31, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Tooey Courtemanche, founder, CEO and president of Procore Technologies, toured the construction site of a 351-unit Tampa apartment complex on a March 20 visit.
Tooey Courtemanche, founder, CEO and president of Procore Technologies, toured the construction site of a 351-unit Tampa apartment complex on a March 20 visit.
Photo by Louis Llovio
  • Commercial Real Estate
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An executive team from California construction software management company Procore Technologies came to Tampa on a cold, mid-March day to visit the company’s newest office. They also toured a 341-unit Channel District luxury apartment building one of its clients is constructing.

The purpose of the visit, which began for some of the team on Sunday with a Lightning game, was to cut the ribbon on the company’s eighth U.S. office, which opened about a year ago. But for Tooey Courtemanche, getting a chance to tour the Parc Madison building while work was underway was reason enough to make the trip from the company’s Santa Barbara headquarters.

Courtemanche is the founder, CEO and president of Procore. The company provides software designed to streamline the construction process to builders, building owners, subcontractors and others who work on projects. The idea is to bring all the information required to do a job — from scheduling to budgeting to bids to project management — together on a single platform. This is so, Courtemanche says, “everyone’s looking at the same sheet of music.”

Procore opened its office, one of 17 globally, in Tampa last year after looking at several cities around the South. The idea is for the city to serve as the company's Southeast hub. It currently employs about 80 people in Tampa and has plans to double that over the next couple of years.

One of the reasons the company chose Tampa was the level of talent available at local schools. Courtemanche says the University of Tampa, the University of South Florida and St. Petersburg College are all graduating students with the skills and training the company looks for.

Other determining factors included the proximity to existing customers and the growth in and around the region and Florida.

“We’re going to continue investing in the market,” he says.


'Literally chaos'

Courtemanche created Procore in 2002 thanks to a diverse set of personal interests and skillsets, as well as circumstances.

He began working on construction sites in the eighth grade with an afterschool job and kept at it for years. He eventually dropped out of college and went to work as a real estate developer. When the economy stumbled in 1993, he went back to school and wound up working in software, building programs for Fortune 500 companies and consulting.  

Then, he says, one day his wife decided they were going to move about 320 miles south from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. They bought a house and then bulldozed it. “So now we had to build a house,” says Courtemanche.

Despite what he says is a love for construction and knowledge of technology, he describes the process of building the house on their own as “literally chaos.”

“I raised probably $5 million in the early years of investor money from people who had just gone through a home build where they almost got divorced. And they're like, ‘if you can, fix this problem.’”

In February, Procore, publicly traded on the NYSE, reported annual revenue for 2022 rose 40% to $720 million. In its earnings report, the company also said in the final quarter of the year it added 402 customers, bringing the total to 14,488. The company also said it had 3,568 full-time employees, a 24% increase from 2021.


Stay ahead

Courtemanche says one of the keys to staying ahead in a competitive industry is visits to worksites, which he tries to do at least twice a month. These visits are an important part of what the company does because they help him and his employees better understand what clients need. And they are an opportunity to get direct feedback from the crews — the people on the job site every day.

Talking to them about how the products work, asking questions and finding out what they’d like to see improved gives Courtemanche a better understanding of how to address any problems they may be having and how to make the product better.

The visits “give me some kind of telemetry as to what we should be thinking about,” Courtemanche adds.

During the March 20 visit in Tampa, Courtemanche was accompanied by nearly a dozen company executives ranging from people on the sales team to the new CMO, Sarah Hodges.

They were there to tour the construction site of Parc Madison, a luxury high rise being built on the site of a former fuel storage facility in the city’s Channel District, just east of downtown.

Construction is  about a year away from conclusion and crews have built several floors, a concrete outline of what’s to come. Inside, or what passes for inside at this point in the process, the apartments themselves are husks really, rough but distinctive frameworks for what will soon likely be among the priciest rentals in Tampa.  

They were shown around the site by employees of Kast Construction, the company charged with putting up the building.

Courtemanche peppered them with questions, talking about both his company’s product and supply issues. He learned Kast prepared for shortages by buying some materials, including elevators, early, but delays remain, such as in getting concrete.

Senior project manager Jose Romulton and senior superintendent Brian Proell talked to Courtemanche about their careers in construction. They next talked about the project, and then discussed the scheduling function on Procore’s system.

Romulton says it’s hard to imagine managing a project with the complexities of Parc Madison without the software anymore. What used to take hours, can now be done in almost no time, he says.

That’s exactly what Courtemanche wanted to hear. Not because he wanted his product praised — the bottom line does that. But because it’s critical for Procore’s employees to hear firsthand from the people who use the product on a daily basis.

“We try to get every employee to a job site because it creates empathy, right?” he says.

“It's really easy as a software company to become kind of disassociated from your end user. If you're a software engineer, or an accountant, or something, you just don't see the customer. We've learned over the years that the more interpersonal relations that we create, the more empathy is generated, the more engaged the employees are around the purpose of the business.”

 

author

Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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