A radio frequency research and product development company based in Waseca is moving to North Mankato and the business says it will open doors for new opportunities.
The North Mankato Port Authority approved a business subsidy loan of 300-thousand dollars on Monday night to NextGen RF Design, Inc. Members approved the loan to be repaid over 15-years with an interest rate of 4-percent. Equity and bank loans will help cover the rest of the project, which is estimated at 1.3-million dollars to purchase the building at 2130 Howard Drive and make necessary improvements.
CEO Luke Tholen says they plan to move quickly in the transition to North Mankato.
“We have some very active projects right, we’re meeting a few deliverables towards the end of September and that’s going to allow us to free up a little to be able to move over here. We hope to do that in a short timeframe. We have a lot of other projects piling up behind that, so, it’s gonna be a very aggressive move.”
NextGen currently has 12 full-time employees and the business expects to add eight to ten jobs over the next three years, with some of that workforce being made up of students from Minnesota State University-Mankato and South Central College.
“We’re in kind of a niche market, so it’s something that we almost have to train new talent and we prefer to do that right out of college. Have an internship program with us in North Mankato means that the students can actually come in between classes or participate in hours of the work week that they might not be able to if we were half-an-hour away.”
At 11-thousand 700 square feet, the company’s new location is slightly larger than needed, but Tholen says it will allow the company to continue to grow. Over the last three years, NextGen has reportedly seen 20 to 25-percent growth and that rate is expected to continue.