NOTE: This story was updated on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.
UPDATE: Interested businesspeople and friends are invited to attend a pre-launch party for Titaen Inc. computer tech service from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at
ORIGINAL: As Silicon Valley tech legend goes, "two kids in a garage" were the human seeds -- one being Bill Gates -- that ultimately spawned computer giant Microsoft.
Could two brothers in Sonoma County sprout the same success in a new "white glove" computer tech service for small businesses?
Titaen Inc., launching this fall in Healdsburg, is the brainchild of Julius and Lawrence Holmefjord-Sarabi, the two youngest sons of Baci Cafe and Wine Bar owners Lisbeth Holmefjord and Shari Sarabi.
Julius Holmefjord-Sarabi, 20, said he and , came up with the idea after watching his parents struggle with administrative aspects of running a small business -- including computer electronics, email, Internet and networking.
"They had some guy come in who wanted to charge them $11,000 to do the job," said Holmefjord-Sarabi, a Healdsburg High School graduate. "I knew it was possible to do it for much cheaper."
He and his brother, thought they could do it better and at a more reasonable cost.
With several high-profile partners, $50,000 in seed money from two investors, and an advisory board of experienced mentors, Titaen Inc. was born.
The partners are in the process of updating their website and their vision.
We asked Julius Holmefjord-Sarabi 10 questions about Titaen:
1. Who are the principals?
--Julius Holmefjord-Sarabi, CEO and director of information technology research.
--Vince Dougherty, a member of the Healdsburg Unified School District board and former IT support service principal in another Healdsburg firm.
--Scott Persons, former IT network administrator for Exchange Bank.
2. Who are the advisory board members?
- Paul Musson - Former VP of Global Sales & Marketing for Sun Microsystems.
- Tim Unger - Former President & CEO of Tropian.
- Michael Adler - Former Chairman of Northbay Angels.
- Bob Millington - CIO of Veterans Medical Research Foundation.
- Robert Girling - Stanford Graduate and Professor at SSU for 32 years.
- Rich Kerr - Former VP GM of Qualcomm.
3. Why is the company named spelled with an "e"?
That is the Norwegian spelling. My mother is Norwegian, father is Persian -- and they run an Italian restaurant. Also the Titaen spelling sets us apart from other companies with the name Titan.
4. What services are you providing?
We handle all brands of Macs, PCs and technical support. We also manufacture our own computing hardware and provide a white glove service for our customers in a subscription service model which starts at $20/month per seat. We do such services as installation, troubleshooting, maintenance.
5. What is your vision/motivation?
We feel the small and medium businesses are taken advantage of in our market, and we believe our service gives them an alternative.
6. Where is your physical office?
Most of the work would be on-site. We maintain an office in a business iHub complex at 1300 Valley House Drive, Suite 100-14C, in Rohnert Park.
7. What is your contact phone, email and website?
www.titaen.com; 707-480-7533, firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. What are some examples of the service contracts you might provide, and costs?
We have a three-month opt-out clause -- at no cost -- on our service contract. If you don't like my service, why shouldn't I let you opt out? All our contracts are customizable to what the business needs. There are no up-front fees to sign on.
9. What about computer hardware?
We manufacture our own computing hardware. We've partnered with two of the four Microsoft Certified Manufacturers in China so that we are able to build hardware that is in comparison to the large players in the U.S.
10. Any fun facts about growing up in Healdsburg?
When I was 10 and Lawrence was 11, we started a fire that burned some grass in a field near a housing development. Instead of punishing us, my mom took us to Vegas, bought us $500 worth of fireworks and a blow torch, and drove us out to the middle of the desert and told us to shoot them all off. Since then, I've never touch any more fireworks. That's the kind of upbringing I had.