Technology made less technical

 

AKRON BEACON JOURNAL
9.05.04 – Erika D. Smith

Akron’s iMMiX Studio provides Web design and computer repair

Liz Remmel (now Scott) and Patrick Carroll, both 24, operate iMMiX Studio in West Akron. The company focuses on two areas — tech support and Web design — but dabbles in many others.

Patrick Carroll and Liz Remmel know they’re not typical 24-year-olds — at least by Akron’s standards.

At a time when many twentysomethings are packing up their college degrees and resumes, and heading for the state line as fast as possible, the Firestone High School graduates decided to stay.

They, along with Carroll’s brother, Jon, 26, founded iMMiX Studio in West Akron.

The Akron startup bills itself as a “one-stop solution for technology.” In reality, iMMiX focuses on two areas — tech support and Web design — but dabbles in many others.

IMMiX can provide Web hosting, spyware removal, search engine optimization, hardware and software installations, plus repair computers and networks.

“We’ve seen a lot of demand for our services, especially PC repair,” said Patrick Carroll, who is operations director.

IMMiX typically targets small businesses, especially in Web design. “They don’t have the time and they don’t have the money to employ a person in house,” Carroll said.

IMMiX, which also serves residential users, fills the one-on-one niche big-box retailers can’t with customer service and lessons on how to avoid future computer problems, he added.

“Most of our business has been through word of mouth,” said Remmel, creative director.

After a somewhat rocky start this year, the tech company has managed to turn a profit and pick up a respectable list of clients.

Among them are Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, Weathervane Playhouse, Dobbins & Henshaw law firm, Graf Growers, the Craft Retailers Association For Tomorrow, C&P Sales Co., the Summit County Farm Bureau, Harris Stanton Gallery and ArtCetera.

“The chunk of our Web sites have been arts-related organizations,” said Remmel, a Kent State University graduate and longtime employee of Don Drumm Studios.

Carroll declined to release sales figures. However, he did say the startup is growing.

In the future, Remmel and the Carroll brothers hope to land more clients in Cleveland and Columbus. Still, they have no intention of leaving Akron.

Jon Carroll is a network administrator for a local branch of FedEx Corp. And Akron is home to his brother and Remmel.

Starting a company wasn’t exactly the plan, but Patrick Carroll said the three of them are committed to it.

“We’d always talked about it, but I always figured I’d just get a job,” he shrugged, recounting a yearlong job search. “I guess it was kind of the circumstances after college.”

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