Thomaston native has big plans for new tech business
Thomaston — After working for tech firms in the Boston area, which he describes as the Silicon Valley of the Northeast, Jacob Smith decided he wanted to bring his skills back home to Midcoast Maine and start a business.
This week he has been putting the finishing touches on the new office on Dexter Street that serves as home to his computer and technology business, EdgeTech. He started the business at his parents' house in Warren three months ago. However, he doesn't see moving it into an office in Thomaston as the end of the story, but the beginning of a company he plans to grow and expand over time.
Through EdgeTech he plans to offer a variety of products and services in the computer field, including equipment sales, repair, IT consulting, networking, security projects, data services and web development. The company can also set up a house to be a "smart home" where residents can use voice commands to control the heat, lights and appliances.
His "bread and butter," as he puts it, is providing a call-in computer repair service. Someone having a problem with their home or business computer can simply call EdgeTech and Smith will remotely access their computer from his office and take care of the problem, which might be caused by a virus or malware. "You don't even need to leave your house," he said.
In addition, if the problem is something that cannot be fixed remotely, he will drive to the customer to fix their computer.
Smith grew up in Thomaston and Warren, and graduated from Medomak Valley High School. He studied computer science at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield and went to work for OnPoint Technology Group in Boston, where he worked as an IT consultant, or, as he prefers to label himself, one of "the computer guys."
Unable at first to afford high rents in Boston, he said he slept in his car for the first month, then spent the summer living in a tent in a campground, all the time trying to learn as much as he could about technology on the job.
After a tough beginning, he established himself.
"I could have stayed in Boston and made a lot of money," he said.
Instead, he wanted to come back to the Midcoast and help the local tech scene evolve.
"Boston is about 15 years in the future," he said. "...They're always progressing and doing something new to get ahead. We need to compete in that global marketplace as a Maine community. Midcoast Maine has some of the most dynamic and amazing craftsmen ever in the whole world, but people need to be able to find us."
He is starting with three employees, but hopes to soon grow his business to 10 and to hire paid interns over the summer.
Beyond expanding his business, he wants to get involved in the community. He hopes to run for selectman in Thomaston, and to start drone-racing leagues and robotics and tech clubs in the community to provide opportunities for young people to gain technology experience.
His goal in getting involved in community government is to encourage business growth and development. With the right leadership, he said, Thomaston could surpass Freeport and Camden in attracting businesses.
Smith was inspired to become active in the community by his grandmother, Diane Corbett, who served on the Thomaston-area School Board for years. He said her spirit of community service led many to respect her and he remembers her funeral being packed with people, including state officials. He is the son of Chris and Joan Corbett LaChance of Warren.
"What a rich life it is to be part of the community," he said.
For more information about EdgeTech, visit edgetechpro.com.
Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 594-4401 ext. 122. Follow him on Twitter @DanDunkle.