Finding your passion in life is sometimes difficult, but Markevis Gideon, founder of NERDiT NOW, wasn’t even a teenager when he realized that his passion was technology. One of his teachers had allowed him to take home an old computer so that he could explore its inner workings and see whether he could make necessary repairs. As the saying goes, the rest is history!
Gideon wasn’t just enamored with technology, however. From a young age, he was an entrepreneur, selling candy and shoveling snow to earn money. After attending Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware, Gideon attended Widener University, where he took a double major in computer science and accounting. He engaged in numerous ways to earn income–selling textbooks, repairing computers and even running a used car dealership in the campus parking lot.
After graduation, Gideon decided to take a slightly more adventurous path and moved to China, where he took classes, taught English and opened a bar named Foreigners. He managed that bar and the 16 employees for over two years. After spending five years in China, he decided it was time to return home.
In 2015, he began running a repair business for computers, cell phones, and numerous other devices out of his apartment. After the first year of steadily increasing business, NERDiT NOW, needed to establish a storefront location. Gideon teamed up with Jake Voorhees and Jonathan Hoxter, both graduates of University of Delaware. In 2016, they entered the Hen Hatch Pitch, a University of Delaware Premier Startup Funding Competition, and were awarded second place, receiving a $9,000 prize.
Gideon told Victoria Anastasi of Town Square Delaware in an October 14, 2019 interview, that $9,000 wasn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but was a great help getting them to the next level in their business plan—getting the business out of his apartment and into its own storefront location.
NERDiT NOW wasn’t just a bricks and mortar operation, though. Gideon had realized that some people are too busy or unable to get to a storefront for numerous reasons. He had purchased a used ambulance and repurposed it into a mobile repair service truck, lovingly referred to as “Motherboard.” In 2018 the business moved into an expanded and updated storefront location, and also established one kiosk. Gideon wants to place 10 more kiosks in various locations in New Castle County, after which he will expand to Philadelphia and Baltimore. A customer drops off their device for repair, approving the pricing before doing so. The kiosk sends a signal to let the team know the device has been dropped off, and a tech goes out in the “ambulance” to either repair it there, or bring it back to the storefront if necessary.
From the beginning of this journey, Gideon was determined to give back and to inspire underserved children and communities to understand and use all the amazing technologies that are available. He established The NERDiT Foundation, which to date has donated over 300 computers to nonprofits organizations in Wilmington and Philadelphia, as well as programs in Africa.
Gideon was named one of Delaware Business Times “40 Under 40” and NERDiT was a finalist in the FedEx Top 100 Small Business grant competition. Gideon gave a TedTalk, “Find Your China” in which he speaks on challenges, growth and finding one’s way. George Chanos, former Attorney General of Nevada and author of several books concerning technology and its current and future impact on our world, included Gideon as a “Millennial Samurai,” one of the young leaders who inspire others to find their purpose and meet the challenges posed by increasingly complex technologies.
Gideon was once asked whether he was concerned about the level of competition in his field, noting that there were over 60 computer repair services in the Wilmington, Delaware area, including the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Like the confident and determined entrepreneur he is, Gideon answered no. He isn’t looking to compete with these businesses, he said. “I’m looking to dominate.” (Holly Quin, Technically Delaware, 12/18/17)