York College of PA alums, cofounders of York's Business Information Group, host free technology conference on June 9
In the early 1980s, York College of Pennsylvania launched its Computer Information Science major. John and Scott Dolmetsch, 1985 grads who grew up in the area, decided to enroll in the new program to find out what this computer thing was all about.
The two eventually launched their own business, Business Information Group (BIG), in 1992. Their website touts them as “Central PA’s leading provider of technology, software, and network support.”
On June 9 at York College, John and Scott will bring back BIG University, a free technology conference for forward-thinking business owners and information technology professionals. The keynote speaker will be Eric O’Neill, an international cybersecurity and counterterrorism expert and the subject of the Universal Studios’ film “Breach.”
After graduating in 1985, the brothers entered the workforce, programming computers and software. John was one of only two students chosen for an internship at the York Tax Bureau, working to develop a new tax software. They then began working for a software development company in Mechanicsburg. John left the software company to perform computer programming for Fox Pools Corp., where he was in charge of its PC infrastructure. Early in their tenure, they were introduced to the personal computer.
These experiences, coupled with their training at York College, inspired the brothers to launch their own company.
“Being exposed to this new world–and you had a whole subset of people who didn’t believe in the personal computer‒because we had experience, we started working part-time doing PC work for companies,” John says.
“The timing was just awesome,” Scott says. “We were walking into companies who said, ‘We don’t have any computers. We keep hearing about this personal computer, and we’d like to know what it can do for us.’”
In 1992, the brothers launched BIG from the basement of their York home. They spent their days installing computer systems and software at local companies.
“The 1990s was the birth of the internet,” John says. “It was fast and it was crazy and everybody wanted to be part of it. It was the heyday of technology.”
“It was open market,” Scott says. “There weren’t a lot of firms specializing in it.”
As their company grew to over 100 employees and moved into office space in downtown York, the brothers made giving back to the York College community a priority. They set up internship programs and have hired several York College students.
“York College gave us the basis to get started,” Scott says. “On that, the rest of the building was established: the ability to learn, the ability to think outside the box, the ability to take something new and figure out what to do with it.”