Meet ITConnect founder, Kareem Edwards. A local from Chimayo and graduate of Pojoaque High, Kareem studied business and accounting at UNM until ‘97 and learned all about routing cable while crawling around on his hands and knees as an installer/salesman for a small Santa Fe-based IT company. It didn’t take long for Kareem to decide if he was gonna work that hard, he was gonna do it for himself.
Kareem quickly grew out of the storage unit “office” he started in, took a $20K home equity loan in 2005, set up shop at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, and soon landed his 1st $600K contract. Without the capital to cover the gear and complete the work, Kareem was shocked and thrilled that Los Alamos National Bank loaned his zero-track-record business the cash he needed to complete that project and begin building a reputation that would lead to future contracts with LANL and Santa Fe Public Schools, just to name a couple. (More in the Santa Fe New Mexican article, ITConnect: Wired for Success.)
Today ITConnect is a multi-million dollar company operating in over 4 states with 50+ employees. Kareem and his wife Mary Jo orchestrate the delivery of innovative tech services, telecommunication network infrastructure (TNI) design, digital learning services, and premise distribution cabling, all while parenting 7 (yes, 7) children. They’re a pretty amazing team and we’re lucky Kareem’s taking time out of his crazy schedule to share his story with us in June.
And since growing out of the SFBI, ITConnect established their headquarters right next door to where we’ll meet at the Santa Fe Spirits Distillery on the South Side (not to be confused with their downtown tasting room). So be ready to try world-class spirits at the place Esquire Magazine deemed the best whiskey distillery in New Mexico in it’s Best Whiskeys in Every State Right Now February 2019 article.
As always, arrive on time to grab a drink to enjoy during story time. And don’t plan to rush off afterwards, as you’ll want to take some time to schmooze and get to know like-minded Santa Feans just as enthused about supporting our entrepreneur community as you are.