Silicon Valley startup Enemy Tree setting up shop in Longmont

LONGMONT — Enemy Tree LLC, a tech startup that launched its first mobile application in November, has moved its headquarters from California’s Silicon Valley to Longmont, with plans of tapping into the local talent pool to grow the business.

Enemy Tree’s first product is Mosaiscope, a news aggregation app that allows users to follow any news site or blog with an RSS feed, as well as specific news topics of their choice.

The app is currently free and available on iOS, though an Android version is on the way soon. Premium features will be launched in coming months with a fee-based version of the app.

Enemy Tree has three employees, including founder John Rokos and a pair of developers. Rokos recently moved his family from California to Longmont, while the developers are based in Wisconsin. But Rokos said in a phone interview Tuesday that the plan is to begin hiring and building the team locally in roughly six months once the premium features are up and running and revenue starts coming in.

“The idea of moving here was to grow the business here … and put together a team that is local to this area,” Rokos said. “This was the first piece to starting this process.”

Rokos is a former professional BMX cyclist who has spent the past eight years in Silicon Valley, including six working in various roles for Tesla, the electric-car manufacturer headed by Elon Musk. It was while with Tesla that Rokos first gained an affinity for Boulder County, visiting for work when Tesla had a downtown Boulder showroom. But he said several factors attracted him to the area.

Rokos said affordability and the outdoor lifestyle were big, as well as the talent pool and Longmont’s NextLight broadband Internet service that is in the process of bringing 1-gigabit speeds to the entire city. While he’s running the company out of his home, he said his intent is to open an office in Longmont within the next year or so.

“All roads seemed to point to this area,” Rokos said. “One thing after the other makes this a really incredible place to relocate your business.”

Rokos declined to disclose startup costs of the company but said that the venture has been self-funded to date. He said he’s had talks with some angel investors but is trying to grow the company organically for now.

“We’ll see what the future brings,” Rokos said.