Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Ctrl-IT and Hacker Hostel merge

Published:Wednesday | July 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson/ Senior Business Reporter
Partners in Ctrl IT, from left, CEO Dominic Allen, Marketing Manager Winston Wilkins and COO Daryl Stachan.

Tech firms Ctrl-IT and Hacker Hostel merged their operations in June, positioning the companies to go after business in Caribbean markets.

"Ctrl-IT had a problem of getting into other markets in order to meet our ambitious revenue target, while we at Hacker Hostel had a pipeline of projects, but limited project management capacity," explained Winston Wilkins, founder of Hacker Hostel and now marketing manager at Ctrl-IT.

In 2014, Wilkins founded StartupRobot, a software develop-ment firm that sought to complete business registration online. That venture, to which Hacker Hostel is affiliated, still exists as a boutique service for overseas clients.

Hacker Hostel aims to solve problems at events by gathering local and international talent to hack out solutions. The mentors teach best practices to local developers in order to make them more employable while the mentors get local tours and access to opportunities in the region. The first Hacker Hostel event was last summer in Jamaica with another event held in St Lucia. The team will go to Trinidad and Tobago this month.

The merged operations will continue as Ctrl-IT, with Hacker Hostel as the brand in overseas events.

"It is a complete merger and acquisition," said Ctrl-IT CEO Dominic Allen, who did not disclose the terms of the deal. He said regional growth would be an important element in surpassing the US$750,000 revenue mark.

Before Ctrl-IT, Allen worked at Microsoft in the US for its brands Bing and Office 365, focusing on big programme management and agile knowledge automation.

Darryl Stachan, chief operating officer at Ctrl-IT, said the five-year-old software development company initially focused on Citrix solutions and then transitioned to wider digital solutions. Citrix is software used for back office servers.

"We have 17 software engineers with a wide range of skill sets and several products in the market," said Stachan, who worked at Citibank for eight years before making the leap into IT entrepreneurship.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com