Tech Rage IT is an award-winning, woman-owned, technology firm that provides Managed IT Services, cybersecurity solutions, VoIP, IT consulting, and professional services to small-mid-sized businesses headquartered in Central Florida to help reduce their technology frustrations and security concerns.
Founded in: 2015
Majority Owned By: Female, Minority
Co-Founder & CEO
Co-Founder & Chief Experience Officer
Tell us a bit about your background.
Erica Martinez-Rose, Tech Rage IT’s CEO, holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Florida International University. After graduation, she moved to New York and held several positions in publishing, marketing, and advertising. After five years of putting in hard work and dedication, she struggled to secure the promotions she deserved, which made her realize she was a small fish in a large pond. She kept working in the industries she loved but was very unhappy. She moved back to Florida with her husband, and when their first child was born, Erica became a stay-at-home mom. This allowed her to reflect on what she wanted to do with her life. She was determined to get the corner office she deserved. And she knew she needed to become her boss. But at the time, she didn’t know it would be in a completely different field.
Matt Rose, Tech Rage IT’s Chief Experience Officer, holds a Bachelor’s in Information Science from the University at Albany, SUNY, and a Master’s in Information, Network, and Computer Security from the New York Institute of Technology. He worked his way up from entry-level IT Support to IT Director for several companies. Along the way, he learned valuable information about how IT runs for several industries. Unfortunately, the IT departments were typically small, and the highest-ranking person would never leave. He always felt underappreciated, and overworked because the businesses he worked at did not value technology. In 2015, Matt was presented with the opportunity to go into IT consulting. It was a risk, but many people he trusted at the time told him it was a good risk considering the opportunity.
With their toddler by their side, Erica and Matt took the brave leap to create their own path to financial freedom. Despite having no prior experience in entrepreneurship, they founded Intersection Technology Solutions, an IT Support consulting firm, and utilized their combined experience in IT and Marketing to win clients almost immediately.
Although the consulting space was very lucrative, it was hard to forecast revenue or where the next contract would come from. Erica and Matt knew that they needed to act fast and seek help to elevate their business to the next level. That’s when they discovered the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program, which provided them with the tools and resources they needed to evolve their business.
But just as they were gaining momentum, their anchor canceled their contract, leaving them with a 75% loss in annual sales. Instead of giving up, Erica and Matt pivoted the company’s focus to delivering technology-as-a-service and rebranded the company as Tech Rage IT. By diversifying its service offerings to include procurement, compliance, cybersecurity, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Tech Rage IT successfully expanded its revenue streams and grew its client base.
Matt has professional experience working for Global 200, enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses. While this experience is mostly larger than the average business we work with today, it helped him look multiple steps ahead and assist in bringing value to the small and medium businesses they otherwise couldn’t get in a Managed Services Provider (MSP). He knew what to offer each type of client. As an MSP, Tech Rage IT can take on a business’s entire IT support or work alongside its internal IT Department.
One other thing is that years ago, a close colleague and friend of Tech Rage IT branded Matt “The IT guy you can actually talk to”. This has been something we’ve tried to create as a culture within the business. Other MSPs can say they have the best techs or train their team members, but we hire customer service experience first, technical can always be taught. Our team understands the frustrations users have when having Tech Rage and we make the experience as pleasant as it can be. We are also transparent and stand by our word, we don’t want to argue, we just want to make things right.
In our company, a pervasive “get it done” mentality defines our work culture. Team members embody a proactive approach, readily stepping in to support one another. Whether it’s covering for a colleague who is out sick or willingly taking on additional tasks, there’s a collective commitment to ensuring that the team operates seamlessly.
This collaborative spirit extends beyond individual roles, with team members consistently asking, “What else can I do to help?” The focus is not only on personal responsibilities but also on contributing to the overall success of the team and the organization. This mindset fosters a dynamic and supportive environment where everyone is willing to go the extra mile to achieve common goals.
Our company culture places a significant emphasis on a “customer service first” attitude when interacting with clients. Team members prioritize delivering exceptional service, understanding that satisfied clients are the cornerstone of our success.
Tech Rage IT stands out from competitors by leveraging efficiency-enhancing tools through the early adoption of automation technology. This operational optimization significantly reduced time spent on critical tasks such as new hire setups and offboarding, allowing the reallocation of support resources to address other vital technology matters and provide proactive support. The automation program achieved an impressive 66 percent reduction in onboarding time for new employees alone.
In today’s rapidly evolving world, security has become a top concern for individuals and organizations. Addressing security challenges requires advanced solutions, and Tech Rage IT has implemented artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help. The utilization of AI in security measures reflects Tech Rage IT’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.
Over the next five years, I’d like to see our company make a difference on a micro level by helping individuals and families in need in our local communities, and I’d also like us to be able to make a difference at a macro level by significantly contributing to causes that help impoverished and needy youth, teens, and young adults.
In 2022, the technology sector faced an unexpected challenge when a quiet quitting epidemic and a negative unemployment rate made it difficult for Tech Rage IT to maintain and hire staff. They knew that they needed to find innovative solutions to keep their business moving forward. By implementing cutting-edge automation systems, they significantly reduced the time spent on critical tasks such as new hire setups and offboarding by 66 percent. We also strategically employed a combination of leased employees and seasoned contractors to bridge the workforce gaps.
Despite having a nimble team, Tech Rage IT was able to take on more clients and increase its revenue significantly. Despite the changes, Tech Rage IT maintained its high level of service, ensuring that its customers continued to receive the same level of quality that they had come to expect. This achievement is a testament to Tech Rage IT’s entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking, and dedication to providing exceptional service to its clients. With this success, Tech Rage IT has solidified its position as a leader in the technology industry and as a prime example of how businesses can adapt and thrive in the face of challenges.
The UCF Business Incubation Program played a pivotal role in kickstarting our entrepreneurial journey and has been a cornerstone of our success. Being part of this program has not only provided us with a supportive ecosystem but has also connected us with a vibrant community of fellow business owners. This networking opportunity has proven invaluable, as we’ve had the chance to learn from each other’s experiences, share insights, and foster a collaborative environment that propels mutual growth.
One of the program’s significant advantages lies in its diverse range of workshops, which have been instrumental in expanding our knowledge base. These workshops exposed us to crucial aspects of business that we might not have been well-versed in initially, such as legal intricacies, financial management, and strategic marketing. The comprehensive nature of these sessions has empowered us with a well-rounded understanding of the different facets of running a successful business.
Additionally, the program introduced us to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Central Florida, further enhancing our entrepreneurial resources. Through the SBDC, we gained access to an advisory board, providing us with a valuable sounding board for ideas and a source of expertise. This support extends to critical areas such as human resources, operations, and financial management. Having the opportunity to seek guidance and advice from seasoned professionals has proven instrumental in overcoming challenges and making informed decisions for the growth and sustainability of our business.
While our primary focus is on the current success and sustained growth of our company, we maintain a strategic perspective that involves considering its attractiveness to potential buyers in the future. Though there are no immediate plans to sell, we recognize the importance of continuously enhancing our company’s appeal in the market.
A key element of our approach is the relentless pursuit of creating value. This is achieved through a meticulous process of securing the right type of clients at the optimal price points and margins. By strategically aligning our client base with our business goals, we not only ensure the stability and profitability of our operations but also enhance the overall value proposition of the company.
Our growth strategy is ambitious, with a targeted annual growth rate of 25%. This ambitious but achievable goal reflects our commitment to expanding the business and capturing new market opportunities. Concurrently, we maintain a vigilant eye on financial sustainability, aiming for a Net Profit margin of 15%. This dual focus on growth and profitability is a key component of our long-term vision, ensuring that our expansion is not only rapid but also financially sound.
What is your proudest moment so far as co-founders?
Achieving recognition as a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree stands as one of our proudest moments as co-owners. This accomplishment represents the culmination of a long-standing goal that has been part of our vision for Tech Rage IT for many years. The anticipation and eagerness to qualify for this prestigious honor have been a driving force behind our commitment and hard work.
Being acknowledged among the ranks of successful businesses as a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree not only validates our efforts but also opens up a multitude of opportunities for Tech Rage IT. This recognition serves as a testament to our dedication to excellence and sets us apart in the competitive business landscape. It’s not just an accolade; it’s a symbol of our commitment to growth, innovation, and making a significant impact in our industry.
Moreover, the honor plays a crucial role in building trust within the market and establishing name recognition for Tech Rage IT. The endorsement from such a reputable program enhances our credibility and reinforces our position as a company worth watching. Doors to new partnerships, collaborations, and business ventures are unlocked, presenting avenues for further growth and success.
As co-owners, this achievement is a source of pride and motivation, driving us to continue pushing boundaries and striving for excellence in every aspect of our business. The recognition as a Florida Companies to Watch Honoree not only celebrates our past successes but propels us towards even greater accomplishments in the future.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank for getting you to where you are now?
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Rafael Caamano and CarolAnn Dykes Logue for providing us with the invaluable opportunity to be a part of the UCF Business Incubation Program. Their belief in our mission and vision played a pivotal role in giving us the initial push needed to embark on our entrepreneurial journey. Their support has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of our business, and we are truly thankful for their guidance and encouragement.
A special acknowledgment goes to the city of Winter Springs for their support of the Incubation Program. Their commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation has created a conducive environment for businesses like ours to thrive and grow. We appreciate the city’s dedication to nurturing a vibrant business ecosystem through programs like the UCF Business Incubation.
We would like to thank our team, clients and partners. Our team, comprised of dedicated individuals, has been the backbone of our success, tirelessly working towards our common goals. The commitment and hard work of each team member have been instrumental in overcoming challenges and achieving milestones.
We extend our sincere gratitude to our clients for entrusting us with their business, allowing us the opportunity to provide valuable services and build lasting relationships.
Our partners have played a crucial role in our growth, and we appreciate the collaborative efforts that have strengthened our collective impact.
Furthermore, our gratitude extends to GrowFL, the Edward Lowe Foundation, and all the sponsors who support second-stage entrepreneurs. Your commitment to fostering the growth of businesses like ours is commendable, and we are thankful for the resources, mentorship, and opportunities that you provide. Your collective efforts contribute significantly to the success and sustainability of businesses in the entrepreneurial landscape.
What is your advice for aspiring or fellow business owners?
A pivotal piece of advice is to actively build connections within the entrepreneurial community. Surrounding yourself with other business owners creates a network of individuals who intimately understand the challenges and triumphs that come with running a business. This shared understanding fosters empathy, providing a source of comfort during challenging times. Engaging with fellow entrepreneurs not only facilitates the exchange of valuable knowledge and insights but also opens the door to collaborative problem-solving. Celebrating successes together within this community adds a layer of fulfillment, and the collective support system becomes instrumental for mental and emotional well-being. The shared experiences create a unique camaraderie, offering a support system that extends beyond the professional realm.
Ultimately, the advice to connect with other business owners emphasizes the importance of navigating the entrepreneurial journey with those who truly comprehend its nuances and can offer meaningful support.