Dyn Is Turning New Hampshire Into A Startup Wonderland

Dyn Office tour

Photo: Dyn

We’ve told you about startup Dyn, an old-fashioned tech success story far from Silicon Valley.CEO Jeremy Hitchcock and his cofounder, Tom Daly, are both 31, and started this company in their early 20s in their hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Since then, Dyn (pronounced “dine”) blossomed into a company employing 170 people serving 4 million users with its domain-name and email services.

Its 2,000 business customers include some of the coolest names in tech—companies like Bitly; Twitter; Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.

The company finally took its first round of outside funding, $38 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, last fall. Dyn, which has bootstrapped itself so far, didn’t need the money, Hitchcock and Daly say, but it will enable the kind of growth that will let them turn their hometown into a real startup community.

Prior to that investment, Dyn’s founders and early employees have backed about six other New Hampshire tech startups, Hitchcock says, and Dyn has made four acquisitions.

Employees work in a 30,000-sq. ft. office, formerly an abandoned lumber mill.

We recently toured the office and saw a place stocked with booze, rock-climbing walls, jet simulators, a private gourmet restaurant, and best of all, a stage that hosts rock concerts for the local tech community. It’s a startup culture which treats employees as lavishly as any in the Valley.

Dyn's 30,000-sq. ft. office headquarters is located in an old mill yard building in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Dyn office is so big, employees often ride Segways around. Here's sales rep Bruce Green on a Segway. Dean Kamen, the guy that invented the Segway, has a nearby office.

The star of the office is the rock stage. During the day, it's good for community meetings, like this one with CEO Jeremy Hitchcock.

But at night, the stage is used for rock concerts and tech networking events. Here's Portland, Oregon's Quiet Life performing.

At the first event, the lead singer of the band crashed a Segway into the stage and chipped it. He signed the stage near the chip.

Since then, every band has signed the stage ...

And visiting dignitaries sign the stage, too. Here's Newark Mayor Cory Booker signing it.

The networking parties can get wild. Brian Brady, Dyn's director of strategic partners, hangs with a few guests at one.

On Fridays, Dyn employees have massive Nerf-gun wars with free beer on tap.

Shhh: There's a secret Scotch room in the office. It's hidden behind another wall. Pull on the wall to find it.

Employees can play Skee ball on this authentic game bought from a New Jersey arcade. There are tournaments some afternoons.

Or they can hang in the Dyn lounge playing video games like Guitar Hero.

Or use Hitchcock's flight simulators. He's a pilot and anyone can log legit training hours on these machines.

Dyn also has a private, employees-only cafe serving local organic food. The corporate chef is Kevin Donahue, who studied at the Culinary Institute of America.

The Dyn office includes a climbing wall. Implementation specialist Matt Torrisi helps a youngster play on it.

The rock-climbing wall is part of a bigger fitness program they call DynFit. Dyn pays 100% of health insurance. Employees get cash prizes for meeting fitness goals. Here's a group heading out for a lunchtime run.

Employees are into other activities as well. Here's a group participating in a Mad Men dress up day.

Instead of a street address, Dyn has its Internet address etched in concrete. (Geeks will recognise this as an IPv6 address.)

Here's a better view of the enormous mill building where Dyn's office is located.

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