The Heart of Entrepreneurship

Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2012 in "Academic Programs", Alumni, "School of Business" Every office and home seems to collect outdated and broken technology and many people resort to the dumpster to solve the problem. But Jason McAninch ’09 is in a perfect position to provide an alternative solution so that he can help the environment, his clients and raise money for his favorite charity at the same time. His company, J-TEK, sponsors technology recycling drives and donates all of the proceeds to KidsTLC, an organization out of Olathe, Kansas, that helps area youth in crisis get assistance when their own families can’t or won’t help. McAninch is president of J-TEK, increasingly known as the premier computer and IT support for Johnson County and its surrounding areas in. “We provide excellent customer service to our customers and they trust us with all of their technology issues,” said McAninch. This puts J-TEK in a great position to get the word out to the right places for the recycling drives. “There is a tremendous amount of technology waste now that technology has become cheaper. Electronics have all kinds of toxic components. We wanted to solve that issue for our clients and help the environment,” McAninch said. To do that, J-TEK partners with a green recycling company. Interest in community started for McAninch when he was a Boy Scout, and by the time he earned the Eagle Scout rank, he was hooked on service. It seemed natural, then, to make service a key component of his business. And because he loves kids, KidsTLC seemed to be a natural choice to receive the proceeds from his recycling drives. McAninch has been working 15-hour days for the last 18 months to grow J-TEK, and his efforts are paying off. Even though Kansas City has an over-saturated IT market, his client base is growing exponentially. A natural with computers, McAninch started J-TEK when he was only 13 years old. At 16, his high school recruited him to work as an IT intern. He continued to work for De Soto School District for the next seven years while he earned his degree. As a transfer student, he finished his business degree at Ottawa University - Kansas City through both classroom and online study. After earning his degree, McAninch took the leap to go full time with J-TEK and add employees. “My management classes taught me how to survive in the business world before I got thrown into it, and my teachers even gave me referrals for work when I finished,” he said. “Survive” may be a modest term; “thrive” may be better. Entirely debt free and self financed, McAninch’s success and his non-traditional business model are attracting local and national attention. He was voted #1 in Kansas City’s Top 30 Under 30 2010 business people contest and was nominated for GQ Magazine’s 2011 Gentlemen’s Fund for his charitable efforts. Much of J-TEK’s growth is due to Twitter and Facebook, where single posts can bring in two to three clients or more. And since most of the company’s work can be done remotely, McAninch plans to grow his client base in Ottawa, Kansas, and eventually move into the Fort Worth, Texas, area. Wherever he expands, his recycling service will expand with him. “It was a goal from day one to give back,” said McAninch. “I have a responsibility as a business to give back to my community.” You can learn how to participate in the recycling drives by visiting www.thejtek.com.