Local IT company developed by UNCW alumnus

The local business Computer Warriors is making a large impact not only in the IT repair industry, but also within the community as well. Computer Warriors, which was established in 2006, is a local technology and IT service company with locations both in Wilmington and Jacksonville. However, this company is unique from others like it for one key reason: it was further developed by a UNCW alumnus through his graduate thesis.

Brain Satz, the mastermind behind Computer Warriors, credits some of his success to his time at UNCW that aided him in his journey to develop his dream business.

“I was really lucky and grateful that UNCW allowed me to do a capstone project on my business. The goal was to find how to take Computer Warriors to the next level and what that next level looked like,” said Satz.

However the road to success was not one without challenges. Satz discussed working toward his Master’s in Computer Science and Information Systems while also raising a family and attempting to build Computer Warriors into what he envisioned.

“I mean there were definitely many instances where it was questionable of whether or not we would be making payroll. When those situations happen you have to do some soul searching and figure out if this is actually working out and if this is worth it. At the end of the day, it certainly has been,” Satz explained.

While being a husband, a father and a business owner, Satz was able to obtain this Master’s degree and move forward with his goals.

“I gave myself a five-year period of time to make the business succeed,” he said. He planned the “certain criteria of what my income would look like, how large the business would be and what my life would basically look like within five years.”

Since then, the business has been quite successful in both their Wilmington and Jacksonville locations. Computer Warriors has gone on to hire several UNCW alumni searching for careers in IT and technology repair. Brett Moser and Tom Hines, both graduates from UNCW, currently work at Computer Warriors.

Tom Hines, has been working in the industry for many years but claims this is not what he envisioned for himself at first.

“My degree was in English and creative writing. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a writer, but I had always been into computers since I was a young kid, and I got into this industry after college, just kind of on accident but it went from there,” explained Hines.

“It’s something that I’m passionate about. It’s what I love to do; I love technology, I love computers, I love cell phones, and I love being on the cutting edge of everything that’s going on.”

Brett Moser, a UNCW graduate with a degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and business development, is also an employee at Computer Warriors. Moser explained that the environment at Computer Warriors is one of the many things that set it apart from other companies.

“Everyone who is there works very hard, but at the same time the company is also big on making sure you have a good work/life balance.”

Computer Warriors, which found its beginnings in Satz’s home, also takes pride in its efforts to give back to not only the Wilmington and surrounding communities, but beyond. Satz discussed B1G1, a program that partners with businesses in order to help them give back on a grand scale. B1G1 works to provide clean water for those in need along with many other options for businesses to contribute to.

“The whole premise here is that as our clients come and have transactions with us, then we are able to make a donation or really the client themselves, through that action, makes a donation,” said Satz.

“We’re able to help give children access to clean water, which in some parts of the world, that’s just not available. If you get your screen repaired with us then we are offering the gift of sight through glasses to an underprivileged person.”

However, B1G1 is only one of the many ways that Computer Warriors puts giving back at the forefront. “We’ve actually been working with the Brigade Boys and Girls Club here in town and we’ve had a donation to sponsor two kids throughout the program for all expenses paid for a year,” Satz explained.

Alongside their efforts with B1G1 and the Brigade Boys and Girls Club, Computer Warriors also works to give back to both the military and student community.

“In our Jacksonville community, we just started doing a weekly drawing and giving away either a free iPhone screen repair to a military member or to a family. Or a hundred dollars in store credit to use for any type of repair service,” explained Satz. He reported that the company does a similar drawing to students.

“For us that kind of inspires our team and me personally, gives me a greater purpose and vision for what we’re doing. We also get to impact the world together as a responsible business community,” Satz said.

However, giving back for Computer Warriors is not solely about donations. Computer Warriors also strives to provide internship and career opportunities in both their retail and IT fields. Although, employment at Computer Warriors is not for the faint of heart, the team has high expectations out of not only job seeking interns but employees as well.

“The biggest thing we want is someone who has work experience or at least has the work ethic,” Moser said. “The biggest things we look for is work ethic, team players and the hunger to learn.”

“By working for Computer Warriors,” Hines said, “not only has my general knowledge of the IT industry and general repairs increased but I have also learned a lot about what it takes to run a functional corporate culture and to grow that culture around the team mentality.”

This is not the last stop for Computer Warriors as the team has big plans for the future of the company. Plans for a Leland branch are currently in progress.

“This year we’ve actually split our company; we branched off our IT support company and made a separate entity called Computer Warriors IT Support,” explained Satz.

“We’ve hired I believe four or five new positions within that company this year all from people with the Wilmington market.”

The mentality of teamwork, growth and giving back has aided Satz and the team at Computer Warriors in diversifying themselves from their competitors. However, Satz and those from UNCW are thankful to those that have provided them with the tools they needed to be successful.

“I just want to thank the staff over at UNCW especially in the Master’s program,” said Satz.

Satz mentioned his algorithms professor, Dr. Tagliarini, who always challenged him with brain teasers and puzzles along with Doug Kline and Tom Janicki as being instrumental to his educational experience.

“It was a really cool learning experience and atmosphere over there and I got a lot of support,” Satz stated.

Satz and the team at Computer Warriors also offered a few words of advice for students interested in a career in IT, technology repair or business in general.

“’People smarts’ matter,” Satz said. “Even if you are going into a technical field if you have these people relations and you have figured out how to work with others and be a team player and you just know how to read people, understand human emotion and connect on a deeper level. That’s going to put you a leg up against you know a lot of people especially in the IT field.”

“Read as much as you can,” Hines said. “Learn as much as you can, and don’t rely on YouTube videos.”