Scott Anderson '07
“A personal goal that I have for myself is to do something big and change the world,” said Scott Anderson ’07. Anderson and his business partners began a start-up their senior year of college that is now a technology company known as OHAVA.
As a student at Radford University, Anderson majored in media studies and was the assistant editor for the literary magazine Exit 109.
“Coming into school, media studies seemed like a good fit for me. At that time, a lot of changes were taking place in the advertising and communication world. The industry was transitioning into new online channels and technology in the field was really starting to evolve,” said Anderson.
As a child, Anderson was exposed to technology at an early age. The internet’s potential intrigued Anderson.
By his senior year of college, Anderson and a business partner decided to take their fascination with technology to the next level. Both young men had a love for open source software – free software that is available for anyone to use.
“We thought that open source software was going to be the future moving forward, so we really started to capitalize on that and create a company centered around the benefits of it,” said Anderson.
In no time, Anderson and his partner started INO Solutions. They referred to their business as a self-funded research project where they designed webpages for small businesses, taught computer classes in the Washington D.C. area and even did computer training for the homeless. Anderson and his partner also participated in some laptops for learning programs, where they would take an old computer and work with students to install the Linux software.
“We did all of this by utilizing open source software. So, it was all free, which made things pretty easy on us,” said Anderson.
In 2008, Anderson and his partners decided it was time to pack up their office in Fairfax, Virginia and move to Silicon Valley, California.
“We packed up our office and we drove across country. We rented a house out here and started coding. We wanted to rebrand ourselves and make our main focus small business. We changed our name to OHAVA and began hitting the pavement for clients,” said Anderson.
When Anderson was asked where the name OHAVA came from, he simply responded, “We made it up.”
Today, OHAVA has approximately 100 small business customers and are continuing to grow. Their overall goal was to become a full tech service for small businesses, which is just what they have done. Anderson and his partners serve the needs of window washers, flower shop owners, car repair men – essentially any business that has one to five employees.
“These businesses are the heart and soul of America. Our company has been pushing and driving for the past five to six months to pick up these types of clients from all over of the United States,” said Anderson.
Anderson and his team pride themselves in understanding the needs of a small business. Before they would go door-to-door selling their services, the team would sit and listen to the business owners and get an understanding of their needs.
“We ultimately wanted to bring open source software to the masses, but our clients don’t so much care about that, they care about us getting the job done,” said Anderson. “We will help our clients create websites, utilize search engine optimization, get on social media and advise them on how they should spend their advertising dollars.”
Anderson and his business partners enjoy being able to have relationships with their clients. Having a personal touch is something OHAVA hopes to continue even as their business expands.
“Having that personal touch really makes a difference. When our customers tell us that we are not only providing them with a service, we are helping their business, it really means a lot,” said Anderson. “Having people super excited about our services and telling us that if they ever won the lottery, our company would be the first they would invest in, is a really rewarding feeling.”
Anderson encourages current Radford University students to take action on their futures and do things that can make a difference.
“If it is important to you and you have a dream or a vision, you have to get out there and do the necessary work,” said Anderson. “Once you are out in the real world, the learning never stops.”