Nerds Xpress on Building the Future of IT in DetroitBy Amanda Lewan on March 27th, 2015 /
Dustin Barlow was born and raised in Detroit. Growing up he was exposed to the world of IT through his grandfather who was a principal at a Detroit Public School.
At just the young age of thirteen Barlow began to take apart and build computers. He knew then that he was going to follow a career path in technology.
“I was able to build computers and sell them. I started to make a business out of it at 14 or 15,” Barlow said. Now, Barlow runs a fast growing IT company based in Detroit called Nerds Xpress. Their team helps provide what Barlow calls the infrastructure of the cloud, helping companies with everything from networking and telecommunications to training and consulting.
Barlow started on his own through several IT jobs, once running the entire network of a Wayne County Community College Campus. A client around this time gave him advice on how to start a business, and that’s when the idea for Nerd Express first formed.
“My whole focus is to help small and mid-sized businesses with their IT needs,” Barlow said. “Nerds Xpress was also kind of inspired by the laid back mantra and name of ‘Geek Squad’. Growing up I was always the guy jokingly called a nerd.”
He decided to capitalize on their friendly and fast service approach by building a brand with the name. Barlow had also been paying attention to the IT market for years, and knew that a focus on cloud infrastructure was where the market was heading. He trains his team to help take out the complex side of IT managing all cloud services.
Formed in 2011, the company was able to quickly grow by forming a partnership and sharing resources with another technology company. That helped them grow to 25 technicians and a team of 5 focused on business development. Some of their local clients include M1 Rail, Crown Plaza, and they’ve partnered nationally with technology giants like Google, Microsoft, and Cisco. Now Barlow says they are seeing 150% growth annually.
“We have a true employee base with a lot of great local clients. Now, we’re looking to continue to scale and expand out to other cities and states in the near future,” he said.
Barlow plans to stay in Detroit where he sees an undeserved market and the opportunity to scale. He is also excited to help local businesses right here in Detroit succeed.
“We want to see small to medium size businesses grow,” said Barlow. “Our solutions enhance the business, not only by means of reduction of down time, increase productivity and efficiency, but also by providing platforms enabling business owners and their employees to accomplish certain task they were never able to before.”