Iowan to Know: From Australia to the East Village to the world

Local News

DES MOINES — What happens when you’re not from Iowa, not even close, but you come here and start a family, a business and help lead Iowa into the next economic era? Well, that still makes you an Iowan to Know.

It doesn’t take Iowans long to recognize that Ryan Gerhardy isn’t from around here with that thick down under accent.

“I’m from Australia and met an Iowa girl, and so have lived here now for five years. And then we lived together in Sydney for four years.”

He’s not just living here. But leading here with one of Iowa’s most promising tech startups called Pitchly.

They recently celebrated five years of growth by throwing a party for some of their partners in the East Village and throughout the metro.

“So it formed when I was living in Australia working at a large bank. And really my job there was to turn information in that bank into PowerPoint documents. And it was that kind of chaos that led me to realize there’s much better ways to manage that information and produce documents,
which really helps companies small and large, organize and present their ever growing massive information stored in a variety of systems.”

“We say the biggest need is these businesses from now 10 years have been told to collect lots of information about the work they do. But they don’t really have a good way to put that into the work that needs to be output by the employees. And so we’re that final bridge.”

Pitchly is exactly the kind of business the state of Iowa wants to see. In fact, they’ve been given tax incentives like a lot of other tech startups here that are slowing Iowa’s traditional brain drain of tech graduates from state universities.

“When we bring our employees from Kansas City or New York or Boston to come to our headquarters in Des Moines they say well, the morning is really cool. We never knew this existed, you know, even five years ago didn’t look like it does today.”

His company that was conceived in Sydney but born in the East Village is now winning clients everywhere. Even back home in Australia.

“We’ve built a product for local that we predominantly sell globally. We have customers in 30 countries use our product.”

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