Always a Logger: Anton Edwardson ’14
Anton Edwardson ’14 knows a thing or two about living on the edge. A member of Alaska’s indigenous Inupiaq people, he was born and raised—and still lives—in Utqiagvik, on the banks of the Arctic Ocean. North of the Arctic Circle, Utqiagvik (formerly known as Barrow) is the northernmost community in the United States.
So maybe it was not such a stretch when Edwardson decided earlier this year to take an entrepreneurial leap and start his own IT firm in his hometown. He already held a full-time job as a business systems analyst for North Slope, the 90,000-square-mile region in which Utqiagvik is located. “A lot of times, before I started as an IT manager,” Edwardson says, “I’d have a small business approach me about all these things they needed to get done.”
Thus was born Inu-IT, the name a nod to the indigenous Inuit people of Alaska. Edwardson’s largest client to date is UIC Science, a government contractor with ties to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Smaller clients include a local plumbing and heating contractor, an ACE Hardware store, and grocery stores. Describing his role as “IT director for rent,” Edwardson says he’s especially interested in helping small businesses and mom-and-pop shops that can’t afford their own IT staff. “What I really want to do with some of the smaller organizations,” he says, “is to empower them to utilize their system so they can run it on their own."
Edwardson is optimistic about the early growth of his startup. If all works out as planned, he says, "Will have created value not only for myself, but for my community, for businesses here, and for the IT industry as a whole."