GET THE TECHNIQUE: School tech company moves to Fortville – The Daily Reporter
FORTVILLE – A tech company started by two friends in a coffee shop that continued to gain customers across the country has moved to Hancock County.
Previously located in Noblesville, Secured Tech Solutions is now in the former Vernon Township trustee office in Fortville. The company, which works with school corporations on laptop and tablet needs for students, is drawn to its new location for the small town feel with plenty of room to grow.
School technology device programs are often referred to as 1: 1 – representing a laptop or tablet for a student. Secured Tech Solutions, which celebrated its third anniversary in November, works with such programs by providing services such as device repairs and an accidental damage protection plan. The company also sells accessories such as power adapters, protective cases, charging parts and device parts. He also buys the devices when the school corporations are done with them.
Nate Holmes, president and co-founder of Secured Tech Solutions, said the company has about 20 employees and works with about 90 school companies in Indiana. This includes the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, not far from the company’s new home in Fortville. Holmes added that it also works with one to five school systems in 10 to 12 other states.
Chris Hawkins, chief revenue officer and co-founder, recalled how a friend of theirs and former partner fell into the business 1: 1 through the small iPhone repair business he ran from his table. of the kitchen. A school district contacted him and asked if he knew how to fix an iPad.
“And he said, ‘Yes’ and wentogle searched,’ How do you fix an iPad? ”Hawkins said with a laugh.
This friend eventually brought Hawkins and Holmes on board, who saw the industry and ultimately decided to go it alone.
They started in 2018 taking phone calls and meetings at a Panera bread in Carmel before raising enough money for their first office space in the city. The company then moved to Noblesville.
“Now we’ve got too big for the Noblesville building after just under two years and need a bigger space, and our two hearts are sort of in small town Indiana,” said Holmes. “I live five minutes away and love Fortville. We were looking for something bigger now and also something we can grow in. “
They found these qualities in the former trustee’s office at 700 W. Broadway St. The trustee’s office is now located in a former Hancock Health office at 602 Vitality Drive.
Holmes is a high school social science graduate and Hawkins mentored youth for a nonprofit before Secured Tech Solutions launched.
“Nate and I aren’t the most technical people, but we’re really good at identifying niche issues, and we identified very quickly that 1: 1 technology was being imposed on schools… and just being able to listen. , we were able to identify so many common issues between schools, ”Hawkins said.
One example is the company’s new revenue sharing program that resells alumni devices from schools to the community, taking that responsibility away from school systems.
“It’s very easy for a superintendent to say, ‘We want to get the devices in the community,’ but the logistics are very difficult,” Hawkins said. “It wasn’t something Nate and I planned to start: an e-commerce business. We just identified that was what the districts would like to be able to do, and basically we are helping them to be able to run these programs from start to finish, in this case.
Florence May, administrator for the Township of Vernon, said the township received two competitive offers for the property located at 700 W. Broadway St. and accepted the offer of $ 680,000 from Secured Tech Solutions.
“We’re going to be building a tech company in Fortville, so it’s exciting,” May said.
The township purchased the property under the administration of its predecessor for $ 500,000.
“So it’s a very good return on investment for the taxpayer,” she said.