New tech assistance business open at Northtown Mall

A new store at Northtown Mall in Blaine helps people struggling with computer problems and consults with businesses on improving their technology systems.

Mark Grover (right) opened GroverTech.Net at Northtown Mall in Blaine July 1 and has four employees, including Josh Colstrom (left) and Bey Vang (center). Photo by Eric Hagen

Mark Grover (right) opened GroverTech.Net at Northtown Mall in Blaine July 1 and has four employees, including Josh Colstrom (left) and Bey Vang (center). Photo by Eric Hagen

GroverTech.Net opened July 1 on the side of the mall that faces Home Depot. The storefront will give owner Mark Grover, 39, and his other employees a chance to work directly with consumers who are having computer troubles such as getting rid of viruses. They can also repair iPods and smart phones.

Grover said they will be able to work on any smart phone or computer including desktop, laptops and tablets. The technical support will eventually expanded to e-readers.

Much of their work will happen outside Northtown Mall through the business-to-business consulting in the areas of desktop and database support, network administration and storage consulting.

For example, a business may need direction on how much storage capacity it needs for a business of its size and to find out whether the servers it has will be able to run fast enough to handle the needs of the company, according to Grover.

GroverTech.Net will likely work mostly with small businesses with less than 100 employees because these typically will have fewer information technology people on staff, but it would be able to assist larger companies if a GroverTech.Net worker has an expertise the large company needs.

“We’ll be here when we they need us,” Grover said.

This is not Grover’s first run as a business owner. After he graduated from high school in Rexburg, Idaho, 21 years ago, he had the opportunity to own a comics and used book business for four years.

He founded GroverTech.Net in September 2008 when he and his wife lived in Spokane, Wash. At that time he was on his own and only doing business-to-business consultation. He now has four employees with another one possibly on the way at his new Blaine business.

One area GroverTech.Net has worked in would be finding competing solutions for businesses. For example, Grover helped an electric parts warehouse develop a database to more efficiently track the parts it actually had so it would not lose sales when employees believed they did not have a certain part.

Prior to creating this business, Grover had worked for Digital Technologies International for 10 years, which is where he got a lot of contacts in the information technology field.

He earned his undergraduate degree in computer science from Utah Valley State and received master’s degrees in business administration and computer science with emphasis on database theory from Eastern Washington University.

Grover and his wife moved to Minnesota a few years ago and he went to work for ECM Publishers in August 2010 as a project manager and systems engineer. ECM publishes 50 weekly newspapers, including ABC Newspapers and several quarterly publications.

He left ECM Publishers recently to once again pursue GroverTech.Net, but this time with a storefront.

“I just enjoy it,” Grover said when asked why he wanted to go into business for himself again. “Historically my family has been entrepreneurs.”

Grover’s family owned a jewelry store, his father had a watch repair business and he has two sisters who own landscaping businesses.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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