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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fort Thomas Father and Son Team Launches Computer Business

By Jessica Eden

It isn’t easy to start a business and it certainly isn’t easy selecting a business idea that will stand the test of time but this was not the case for a Fort Thomas-based Father/Son team who recently launched their own computer refurbishing business.

“Vigilance Technology Services” was started by Shawn Hopper and his son Jackson in June 2018 and the business has really taken off. Jackson, a 17-year-old Highlands High School student, manages most of the day-to-day operations with the oversight of Shawn. 

“It starts with an idea. Dad works as a freelance consultant and we were visiting one of his clients’ office space when we came across a server room. There was an entire wall of unused technology,” said Jackson. “I asked ‘What is this?’ And they told me it was just going to sit there until they found something to do with it. I thought that it could probably go to someone else. So, we wrote up a business proposition.”

After a lot of research, the Hopper duo came to an interesting conclusion in regards to the unused technology. “We researched and found that there are not a lot of options,” said Shawn. “You literally have to shred them {destroy them} or take the items to a professional data erasing company. Companies are losing profit over technology that won’t even go back out to their employees or customers.”

According to Shawn, the challenge that most corporations face with unused, old technology is that they have small IT departments and there is a hefty price tag on using an outside agency to wipe the items and/or refurbish the items for resale. So, Shawn and Jackson floated a unique idea to the corporation. “There are nearly $2 billion worth of tech lying around,” said Jackson. “Together we wrote up a proposition and said ‘If you allow us to have this tech, we’ll wipe it and we won’t charge you anything...but anything useable will come back to us.”

The new business idea operates within all the official guidelines of data wiping standards. They receive certificate of compliance that the data was professionally wiped in accordance with the Department of Defense so that if they ever need to go to court because of some data that was still on there, they have a certificate to show that it was wiped,” said Shawn.

Shawn and Jackson keep their business simple by utilizing Ebay and Facebook Marketplace to sell most of their items. “You're only as busy as what you do on Ebay,” said Shawn. “There are so many good ecommerce options. As an IT veteran, I wanted to keep this as simple as possible.”

In fact, the business has become so successful, Jackson has made enough to cover costs for his first semester of college, depending on what school he plans to attend. Currently Jackson is considering Georgia Tech or the University of Cincinnati for their robust IT programs. After a few months, I saw how much income was coming in, I thought ‘Oh my goodness, this could be a genuine option for making money,” said Jackson. “We got the process down after after a few months but it didn’t take long to see the full potential.”

Jackson runs most of the business operations with some assistance from his mom with the Ebay listings and general guidance from Shawn. “His mom and I are super proud of him,” said Shawn. “He’s going to learn things we haven’t even thought about as his friends expand and he attends college and expands his schooling. I hope we’ve given him a direct path as he becomes an adult. He’s going to enjoy so much flexibility in working for himself. The great thing at this stage is that there is only one way, and it’s up.”

So, what can you find at Vigilance Technology Services? A little bit of everything. Currently they have everything from business class laptops to newer Surfaces to occasional I-Pad. Most of their items are PCs.

If you’re interested in their tech install, computer building or professional data wiping services or if you’re just interested in picking up a cheap, high-quality laptop, you can contact Vigilance Technology Services by emailing

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