Secunia, a Danish computer firm that protects business software from outside intrusions, will open a 20-employee Minneapolis office that it found through Greater MSP, a St. Paul-based nonprofit regional economic development agency.

"Greater MSP was influential in the decision to locate here," said Neil Butchart, vice president of North America for Secunia Inc., a subsidiary of European firm Secunia Aps. Secunia provides corporations with automatic security updates, a technique called "patch management," for thousands of software programs, including familiar applications such as Firefox, Java and Adobe.

"I'm from the area, so I'm familiar with the benefits to small business of locating in the Twin Cities," Butchart said. "But our headquarters is in Copenhagen, Denmark, and those people were not as familiar with it. They were looking at the East Coast as a preferred location."

After visits to the Twin Cities, executives were convinced by everything from the workforce to the local IT community to lifestyle amenities such as bike trails, he said. No financial incentives were involved.

"That visit was very instrumental in changing the location decision from the East Coast to the Twin Cities," Butchart said.

Secunia has 4,000 corporate customers, including 500 in the United States, he said. The Minneapolis office will open Jan. 1.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553