Brad Wiskirchen, CEO
Relationships. Access. For Brad Wiskirchen, it’s all about relationships and access.
The company he oversees, Keynetics, had its start in a San Diego garage in 1998. Early on, the founders, Tim and Eileen Barber and Geoff Hoyl, hired a few of their neighbors and friends to be the first employees. Profitable out of the gate, they were soon talking about growing the business, but this was a little crazy during the Internet bubble in the 1990’s. With two small children to consider and the need to be able to hire talent, the founders moved Keynetics to Boise on the recommendation of a founding board member, Bayless Manning, who at the time lived on Warm Springs, one of the historical districts in the city.
Fourteen years later, the company continues to execute on its business model with two operating subsidiaries, ClickBank and Kount. ClickBank, one of the world’s largest Internet retailers, is a SaaS platform that helps infopreneurs build and improve their businesses. Kount offers the most effective and highly sophisticated fraud detection technology in the e-commerce and payment space and is used by some of the largest online retailers in the world.
“We’ve been successful because we’ve created business models that are scalable and highly effective,” said Wiskirchen.
Kount recently received two awards in recognition of their expertise. Industry experts on Internet fraud control and companies who utilize fraud solutions determined Kount was the best fraud solution on the market.
Wiskirchen leads Idaho’s largest privately held technology company (by revenue). Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Salt Lake City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He also actively supports the Idaho Technology Council and Kickstand, where he continues to build relationships assisting the next generation of CEOs.
Wiskirchen credits access to private and public sector leaders as one of the key differentiators for the Boise Valley. He feels that is a component of his company’s success. “The leaders are a call away. I can make a call and be sitting across the desk from the Mayor or the Governor the same day. It’s remarkable to have the kind of access that we have in Boise and in Idaho,” said Wiskirchen.
On the Boise Valley Workforce:
“There is a great work ethic here, unlike any I’ve seen in other places. Our team works until things get done. We have a relatively small team across Keynetics, and we are able to accomplish a lot with that small team. It’s a direct product of the work ethic."
“The accessibility of highly qualified, talented, and skilled workers helps business grow in the Boise Valley. At Keynetics, we have benefitted from the relatively high levels of education amongst people we are recruiting; it’s been very beneficial for us regardless of the position we need to fill."
On the Boise Valley as a Place to do Business:
“Keynetics is very connected to the community. Any time we get involved in the community, we see an immediate impact—we see the results. This is important. The location is icing on the cake. It’s a nice place to be. The margins are healthier here.
“The access to local and state government leaders means that we have greater influence with regard to policies that could potentially harm business. The government here tends to stay out of our way.”
On Advice to Entrepreneurs in the Boise Valley:
“Look for mentors. People are very open to talk with you. There are plenty of people in this town that you can have access to and I think that’s fairly unique. You are always one or two people removed from someone you know. They are remarkably willing to give their time.”
On Advice to Other Companies Looking at the Boise Valley:
“Quality of life in the Boise Valley means that your employees can have a life. The Boise Valley offers affordable housing, good schools, safe neighborhoods, and a short commute. There is a university in your backyard. This is a very livable place that has benefitted from the generosity of the business community that has gone before. For a city this size to have access to professional opera and dance companies (both Ballet Idaho and the Trey McIntyre Project), theatre troupes (including a nationally recognized Shakespeare company), the Boise Philharmonic, and the accompanying world-class facilities where they practice their craft, is truly amazing."
“The arts really resonate here in the middle of every outdoor experience imaginable. You can literally wet a line 100 feet from the office and go skiing the same day.”
On Advice to Talent Looking at the Boise Valley:
“There is a lot of technology here. If one opportunity does not work, you don’t have to sell your home, pull your kids out of school, and go somewhere else. There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of people doing really cool things.”