Website design, concierge and in-home tech support are just some of the features of Lehigh Valley Tech Support, a student start-up that aims to service Lehigh Valley residents.
Founder Matt Rothberg, ‘18, came up with the name “concierge tech” to define the personalized nature of his business.
“Each client will get their own specialist that they can keep in touch with,” he said. “It’s similar to private banking. You can go to the bank and talk to a different person every time. They don’t really know your issue and you explain it every time.
“What this is, is someone who has worked with you in the past, they know your issues and how your computer works. So it’s really very personalized.”
Rothberg believes concierge tech will fill a void in current technology support.
The concierge service will be a monthly fee, and the customers will have their own personal concierge assigned to them. The phone number, email, and other contact information are given to the customer so that they can call the concierge directly when in need of assistance.
Rothberg said the in-home service that Lehigh Valley Tech Support offers is inspired by a successful tech company, HelloTech, in California.
“They don’t have concierge support,” Rothberg said. “They just have an in-home area where a (college) student will just come and fix your stuff. As soon as they launched, people loved the idea. They got almost $5 million in funding because of how big of a market people think there is for this.”
Rothberg’s team consists of six people, and he hopes to attract new students to work for the start-up. Lehigh’s excellent engineering and computer science programs can be a great place to draw talented students from, he said.
Anna Malisova, ‘18, head of concierge support, noted that the company is trying to bridge the gap between the Bethlehem community and Lehigh. Lehigh Valley Tech Support’s outreach to all of the Lehigh Valley, not just the university. Malisova said the company plans to hand out fliers at the mall and get published in local news outlets to expand its reach to the community.
“Rothberg had a separate company back home,” she said. “He has a lot of contacts from there because he really built up respect and a good brand there.
“We’re still trying to grow a client base here, and we figure that maybe students will use it, maybe people in the Bethlehem area that have trouble with any sort of technology or setting stuff up.”
Lehigh Valley Tech Support plans to open operations in the next month or two. In the meantime, they are offering university students an incentive to spread the tech company’s name through a referral program.
“We have a lot of people in school from around the Bethlehem area,” Rothberg said. “What I say to them is ‘Hey, if you refer our name to people in the area then you get 10 percent of what we make on the first visit.’ So that’s pretty easy money for people who just want to spread our name around.”
Once the reputation of Lehigh Valley Tech Support is known, Rothberg is hopeful the company will prosper.
“Right now, say your iPhone breaks,” Rothberg said. “You have to call Apple Tech Support and you wait on the line for an hour, and then you get a new person. Let’s say you hang up on them and you have to call again and re-explain the issue. It’s kind of inefficient. So I think there’s a big market for people that want something that’s personalized, something that’s for them.”