FARGO — If you peer into the windows on the west side of BNG Team's new office building in Fargo, it might look like a water park or playground.
Three tall slides act as a way to get downstairs from the third and second floors. Arcade machines are scattered throughout the building.
The office has themed conference rooms, two patios (one with a grill), a recreation room complete with video game consoles and a ping pong and foosball table. It also has a large fitness center, with each piece of equipment outfitted with a screen that can stream Netflix. The gym space can be transformed into a meeting center.
A table in one of the conference rooms is one of North Dakota's most powerful supercomputers. Another conference room is Bison themed — carpeted with turf. At the front of the building, a conference room is themed after an alley in downtown Fargo.
CEO Brady Nash said all the furniture, amenities and slides cost "well over a million dollars." The company’s fun new digs are a far cry from its humble beginnings.
When Nash and BNG Team President Ryan Goodman dropped out of North Dakota State University with a group of close friends to start the venture in 2005, their first office was in a house basement.
"I was a broke college kid that was only making money by donating plasma at the time," Nash said.
The group funded their startup with medical studies and credit cards before getting BNG Team to where it is now.
"When people say blood sweat and tears, that's literally what we did," Nash said.
BNG Team kept growing. They moved from office-to-office before eventually settling into their first and only dedicated building. Workers broke ground at 3285 47th Street South in September of 2017.
The more than $10 million office building was ready for employees to move in by February 2019. It houses about 70 employees right now and has the capacity for a total of 150.
BNG Team makes products and software designed to let businesses process their cash flow in more efficient ways. The company said its products move more than $1 billion each year.
The company said it is still growing and expects to soon fill the building to its 150 employee capacity. BNG Team has clients in all 50 states, Canada and parts of Australia.
The company’s hope is that its new work space will help develop a better workplace culture, though Goodman said culture and respect among colleagues aren’t just built through a fun office space.
"Culture is not stuff. Culture is not a coffee machine, culture is not slides, culture is not a ping pong table," he said. "Culture is how you treat one another and how you work together towards a common goal. Being on the boat with a paddle and going in the same direction. That's culture."
Nash quoted their Dream Manager Jeff Vanlaningham who said, "Profit is like your blood. You need it to live but it's not your reason to live."
Nash added, "So for us, we talk about that. Employees matter, our customers matter. So we always challenge ourselves, if you're going to say things, how are you going to back it up?"