Before he joined Hy-Vee as a software engineer, Lee Robinson’s search for his next career move in Iowa was a hassle. 
Robinson entered all the tech companies he knew of into a series of spreadsheets, comparing benefits and information at hand. As the spreadsheet grew, he noticed a growing circle of companies he had never heard of. 
“This is my industry; I already knew a decent amount [of companies],” Robinson said. “I didn’t realize just how many there were. So in the process of doing this, I thought there’s a discoverability issue that needs to be solved. 
“We’re the biggest exporter of tech talent, so how do we bring those people back?”
Robinson launched in December and has already racked up quite of hub of public, private and startup companies in the Central Iowa region. The board lists companies in no particular order and links out to each company’s social media accounts and private job boards.
Robinson went ahead and posted the site to his LinkedIn account in December, and gained 14,000 views within the week. 
“I didn’t realize how many people would find value in it,” he said. “There’s always people looking to make a move. It’s kind of something that people can bookmark and just have as a resource.” 
“I had probably five different CEOs of companies message me and say, ‘Hey, would you be interested in adding our site to your list?’ ” he said. “I had people messaging me, saying ‘Thank you so much for this resource. I just got laid off, and I needed a way to find a new job opportunity.’ That wasn’t even my intention, but it worked out [and] I’m happy that I’m helping people out in that way.” 
There’s also the added benefit for companies outside of Des Moines to understand the tech landscape. 
“If I’m a startup in San Francisco and I’m looking to build a second office … if I land on a site like this, I have a pretty good understanding of what [Des Moines] is doing,” Robinson said.
Attracting employees is a high priority topic for most of Des Moines’ tech scene, and Robinson has watched former classmates from Iowa State University jump from graduation to out-of-state jobs. Robinson opted to stay in Ames, spending three years working for Workiva before joining Hy-Vee in October. 
“I think we’re going to start to see more people migrate outside traditional tech hubs … and you’re also seeing the advent of remote work,” Robinson said. “Ultimately, I just want to see the tech industry in Des Moines grow and be the best it can be. That’s my driving goal behind the entire site, so whatever we can do as a community to get there is what I want to do.” 
While the live layout is simple right now, Robinson has a few ideas to add. During his own search, Robinson had created a comparison system that included medical plans, signing bonuses, retirement options and other benefits. He is also taking suggestions for features to improve the site at 
“You can use a website like Glassdoor … which says, ‘OK, this company has all these benefits,’ but there isn’t really an easy way to compare,” Robinson said. “I would like to do something like that … where you could kind of select two different companies, and plot them against each other and compare the benefits. Not only is that good for the companies, now potential candidates have a better idea of what benefits they offer, because they might not know unless they do a deep dive on the website.” will remain free for now: “I don’t want it to be a lesser experience just for a little bit of money, because money isn’t the driving factor in building this resource,” he said.