By Nathan Ham
A new business startup created by an Appalachian State alumnus hopes to boost technology careers and help start businesses right here in the High Country.
Robert Huddleston, a member of Appalachian State’s graduating class of 2000, moved back to Boone about two and a half years ago and brought along with him his own IT consulting company, Avoda Group, from Raleigh.
“We moved it here because we wanted to see if we could chase App State students and bring them on board, train them up in Cloud Technology and get them in our consulting group,” Huddleston explained.
Not long after this came the idea of Boone Underground, a 4,000-square-foot facility on State Farm Road with modern technological upgrades to offer clients meeting spaces, high-speed internet, private desks, and numerous valuable resources to develop business plans and ideas.
“We did an internship with App State, brought some students on, and got them certified in different Cloud Technologies, and then we thought what would be the next natural progression of this,” Huddleston said. “Back in January is when I had this vision for Boone Underground with the idea of creating more jobs and creating more technology up here in the High Country.”
As Robert pointed out, many students interested in a career in technology are leaving the High Country to take jobs