BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Three family members from Boardman have started a new technology coaching service for senior citizens. The trio is even helping people for free, thanks to a $10,000 grant.
Wednesday afternoon, Vince Bevacqua and his two sons Neil and Lucas explained how the business idea for Family Tech Connect began with their grandfather.
“I’d been helping him with a lot of his technical issues and he had always suggested turning this into a business,” Lucas said.
Family Tech Connect helps senior citizens use technology — everything from sending an email to setting up a Smart TV.
“For us, it may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but people really do struggle and it’s our hope that we make an impact,” Neil said.
“We have personal one-on-one service, we have classes, we have phone support and we provide device curation as well. We made it so that whatever the need is, we can address it,” Vince said.
News viewers may remember Vince from his days anchoring 33 WYTV News. He’s now a communications consultant, along with starting this new business.
“That’s really what our services are about — connecting with family, connecting with friends, connecting with businesses, connecting with doctors, because telehealth visits are becoming huge,” Vince said.
Recently, Lucas taught people at Youngstown’s Park Vista retirement center how to set up a Gmail account.
In a group setting like Park Vista’s, Family Tech Connect charges $35 a person. Individual coaching is $55 an hour and for $100, they’ll help people buy and set up their devices.
But now, because of the grant from Direction Home of Eastern Ohio, everything is free in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties.
“It’s completely underwritten, so any senior 60 and over in the four-county area that would like to have our services can get them for free. It’ll cost them zero dollars,” Vince said.
The Bevacquas know of no other business in the United States that does what they do, so the possibility of expansion is endless.
They realize their clients won’t be with them long-term though, that eventually, the mass pool of seniors needing help with technology will end and, at that point, they say they’ll move on to the next opportunity.