In the spring of 1994, few people would have imagined that Susan Labandibar was about to launch a successful computer business. She had just returned to the US after a year of biking through Europe, living in an eco-village, and marching through France on an anti-nuclear protest.
Tired of feeling at odds with society, she wanted to focus her attention on building a build a strong business that exemplified her core values: Honesty, industry, compassion for others, and concern for the environment. Thus, Tech Networks was born from an idea and a few thousand dollars in savings. This home-based business met the demand in the college market for an affordable personal computer delivered to the student’s home with free installation and setup.
Within 18 months, she and two employees opened a retail store located in a Federally-designated Economic Enterprise Zone in South Boston, Massachusetts. The store offered new and used computers, as well as computer classes and computer repair. In 1998, the company began to help small businesses install broadband Internet connections, centralize information storage, and safeguard their data.
Today, Tech Networks of Boston is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner with 25 employees. The firm is a primary IT service provider to over 100 Boston-area businesses of all sizes. The retail store still serves the computer needs of smaller companies and individual consumers with PC repairs and sales of new computers, including the award-winning Earth-PC.
Tech Networks’ community vision is to make Boston a more sustainable place to live and work. Philanthropic efforts include donations of 1% of gross revenues, pro-bono IT services, and unique sponsorship initiatives, such as the Sustainable Business Leaders Program, Boston Charity Events, and the Hutan Program for saving rain forest habitat in Borneo.