North Central News

Startup provides support to tech challenged

By Melody Pierce
A new generation of tech experts—comprised of high school students and recent grads— has developed a North Central Phoenix business, Generation Tech Support (GenTech) to help you understand technology.

Generation Tech Support’s storefront opened its doors Aug. 27 at the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road, and every day it is providing community members help with their devices while teaching young people entrepreneurship.

Noah Spencer, 25 (left) and Steven Winkler, 18, both managers at Generation Tech Support, examine a customer’s older laptop computer to determine if the hard drive and memory can be upgraded (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

Noah Spencer, 25 (left) and Steven Winkler, 18, both managers at Generation Tech Support, examine a customer’s older laptop computer to determine if the hard drive and memory can be upgraded (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

GenTech was created and launched by Shadow Mountain High School students, emerging out of the GenYES program taught by Debbie Kovesdy. Shadow Mountain students spent years putting together a business plan, but after the GenYES entrepreneurship team won gold medals in 2015 in state and national competitions, industry leaders encouraged Kovesdy and her students to grow their idea, and the students elected to go out on their own, seeking mentors and capital.

A grant from the Cisco Foundation earlier this year kick-started the business, and GenTech now has a home off campus with many rooms and devices, and brightly-painted walls the provide a welcoming and upbeat setting for tech clients of all ages.

“We have taken tech support to a different level; we teach you how to really use and enjoy technology,” Kovesdy explained.

Services include mobile, media, applications and software. From posting your first Facebook post to an in-depth look at Mac and PC operations, Generation Tech Support has you covered, she pointed out.

Various small group class offerings are available, including using software such as Photoshop, and the importance of cyber security. A “robotics for children” class is also in the startup process.

GenTechs, as they call themselves, can answer all of your “how do I” questions in one-on-one consultations, group tech trainings, custom classes or a tech party with your friends.

The company’s goal is to teach the community technology in a fun and engaging way, all while giving students the opportunity to use their love of technology to help real customers, Kovesdy said.

The Generation Tech Support team now includes 20 staff members, all ranging from high school students to recent college graduates, and it is looking to build their team, along with increasing the number of clients.

“It’s grown into something much bigger than we ever thought it would be,” said Steven Winkler, who heads the business’s Human Resources department and is a manager. Winkler was a part of the original class that developed Generation Tech Support at Shadow Mountain High School and is now attending Paradise Valley Community College.

GenTechs, like Winkler, say they are developing workplace, business, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Winkler said that his work with GenTech has fueled his love for technology.

Generation Tech Support will soon be providing the latest in cutting-edge technologies with the addition of robotics, 3D printing as well as laser and makerspace technologies, Kovesdy said. These resources create a technology hub for the Phoenix area.

Kovesdy says the price is right for consumers. Quick questions can be addressed in 10 minutes for about $10. A tech party, with three to five friends, is $50 an hour or $10 to $12 for each partygoer. The company also provides refillable Connect Cards that make great gifts for the holidays, especially for those older members of your family who received a new but confusing tech toy at Christmastime. A $30 Connect Card offers one hour of personal tech support, and patrons can use all or part of the card at a tech session. The card is transferrable and never expires.

Generation Tech Support is located at 13236 N. 7th St., Suite 1. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 602-374-5624 or visit www.gentechsupport.com.

Editor’s note: Melody Pierce is a student at the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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