Ren Systems is a New York-based early-stage company that provides contextual relationship intelligence technology for leaders. Ren founded its European engineering hub in Zurich in March 2020. Being able to recruit engineering talent and the central location in Europe are competitive advantages of the Greater Zurich Area, according to CEO and Co-Founder Canay Deniz.
Please introduce yourself and Ren Systems briefly:
I grew up in Switzerland and moved to New York in 2014 to lead the U.S. operations of Teralytics, a spin-off from ETH Zurich active in big data and machine learning. In 2020, I co-founded Ren Systems, an early-stage company providing contextual relationship intelligence technology to leaders.
How did it happen that you set up a branch in Greater Zurich during the first lockdown?
We had the idea of building a decentralized company before Covid-19 because of my strong personal network of engineers in Europe. The pandemic accelerated everything: Our CTO took the last flight out of New York to Zurich right before the lockdowns. Even though it was a challenge to build a company during a pandemic, setting up a branch in Switzerland was straightforward: We had excellent support from Greater Zurich Area Ltd and our lawyers and accountants helped with the rest.
What are the biggest advantages of a location in Greater Zurich?
Being able to hire from ETH Zurich, one of the leading engineering schools in the world, is a competitive advantage against other Silicon Valley and New York tech companies. Being in the center of Europe is another advantage for a distributed team like ours so that our engineers can meet, socialize and be the most productive at one hub. Also of course the Swiss alps are the best place for team retreats, which is what we’ll plan for as soon as we can all travel again.