VoyageurWeb started as "Internet Connections (I.C.)" in the basement of Yvonne (now Cariveau) Karsten and Dale Karsten's home in Mankato, MN with one computer, four phone lines, four modems and a handful of friends that wanted to get on the Internet.
One of the first big projects was connecting schools to the Internet, Kennedy Elementary was the first. Dale and Yvonne volunteered to network Kennedy elementary school so every classroom would be on the Internet. Dale and Yvonne donated time to build the LAN and train the teachers for that school - soon every school in town wanted the Internet too.
--Old photos of Dale, Yvonne and John Biederstedt installing the first local area network at Kennedy Elementary School in 1993/4.--
Later that year, I.C. moved to a small office in the Northwestern Office Building in downtown Mankato, MN. This was simply an equipment closet with more phone lines and computers, the company was still run out of the Karsten home with only one part-time employee.
In 1994, all company operations moved to the Northwestern Office Building to Suite 311 (800 sq. ft. space). At that time, there were 5 employees...when I.C. moved out about a year later to larger quarters in Suite 216, there were 10 employees and four times as many customers.
In 1994, we created the web site for the City of Mankato and the Mankato Free Press (the first newspaper site in the state of Minnesota) and we did them both free! In 1995 and 1996, we expanded our expertise and client base in the web site design and hosting area and did sites for a few dozen organizations.
In 1997, we expanded operations to four more communities (Owatonna, LeSueur, Waseca and New Ulm). We upgraded from 28.8 modems to 33.6 and 56k modems and put in new T1 connections.
In 1998, we expanded our offices again AND we expanded to the Twin Cities Metro area. In 1999, we completed the conversion of all of our locations to 56k digital equipment and brought up DSL service in Mankato. State-of-the-art at the time! We greatly expanded our web site work too.
In 2000, Dale left the business and Internet Connections sold the access portion of its business to HickoryTech. In January of 2001, we changed the name to VoyageurWeb to reflect the concept that we are guides and helpers for those venturing onto the Web, like north woods guides we cater the services needed to the expertise of our client.
From 2001 to 2006, VoyageurWeb grew its customer base and expertise and a few staff have left while others have joined us. In 2003 we moved from the 2nd to the 3rd floor of the Northwestern Building.
As 2007 started, we continued to develop new products with a terrific staff and the weekend of the 4th of July, 2007 we moved to our new offices in the Union Square building, 201 N. Broad St. Suites 302 and 308. From the moment we entered the building, we felt at home.
Since 2007, we have maintained a staff between 8 and 11 people, we have developed more sophisticated processes for planning and tracking our work as well as an expanded toolkit of products and services we can provide to our customers. We have become more mobile, increasingly able to effectively work from locations other than the office.
But even with all these changes, we remember our simple beginnings and we strive to keep getting better at treating customers and staff as we want to be treated ourselves.
Staff Through the Years