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Raleigh company offers a Tesla for every employee

Raleigh company offers a Tesla for its employees

A Raleigh startup intent on recruiting top talent is dangling a shiny bright object in front of prospective employees – a new Tesla Model 3. The scientific instruments maker, Practichem, also will lease Model 3s for its existing full-time staff of
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A Raleigh startup intent on recruiting top talent is dangling a shiny bright object in front of prospective employees – a new Tesla Model 3. The scientific instruments maker, Practichem, also will lease Model 3s for its existing full-time staff of

A Raleigh startup intent on recruiting top talent is dangling a shiny bright object in front of prospective employees – a new Tesla Model 3.

The scientific instruments maker, Practichem, also will lease Model 3s for its existing full-time staff of more than 15 employees.

“My team has done more with our few people ... than our competitors who have been entrenched forever” and therefore deserve to be rewarded, said founder and CEO Nick DeMarco.

“And,” he added, “it doesn’t hurt to get publicity when we’re trying to hire more people.” The company is looking to fill 10 open positions.

The Model 3, slated to ship in late 2017, is expected to have a starting price of $35,000 before government incentives. Coincidentally, Practichem’s flagship product, the Arista Slice – a browser-controlled protein chromatography system that purifies proteins to create new medicines – also costs about $35,000.

Dustin Simons, a 24-year-old design engineer at the company, learned a Tesla 3 was in his future Wednesday afternoon.

“I’ve never had a vehicle that was less than 20 years old, so having a new car is world-changing in a way,” he said.

Since the Model 3s aren’t yet available, details such as the length of the leases haven’t yet been worked out.

DeMarco hit upon Model 3s as an employee perk in part because he sees both Tesla and Practichem as innovative companies that are driving change.

“We’re not trying to say we’re just like Tesla and I’m certainly not (Tesla CEO) Elon Musk,” DeMarco said. “But we see some similarities.”

DeMarco said the company’s outside investors, which last month plowed $5 million into the company, are on board with the unusual perk. “We’ll see, but this is probably the most cost-effective way to do good recruiting, much cheaper than using ... headhunters,” he said.

David Ranii: 919-829-4877, @dranii

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