From the days of dial-up to the era of iPad, VoyageurWeb has been on the forefront of helping clients make sense of the Web and use it to their full advantage. We’re proud to have grown from a Southern Minnesota internet service provider to a multi-faceted international web services firm.
We started in 1993 as Internet Connections (or I.C.) in the basement of Yvonne (now Cariveau) and Dale Karsten's Mankato, Minn. home. Equipment consisted of one computer, four phone lines and four modems. A handful of friends joined in, curious about the mechanics of connecting to the Internet.
One of the first major projects was connecting schools. Dale and Yvonne volunteered to network Kennedy elementary school so every classroom would be on the Internet. The pair donated time to build the system and train the teachers. Their daughters, Jacqueline and Samantha (ages 7 and 9) helped run wires in their school as well. Word spread and soon all 16 schools in the district wanted our help accessing the Internet.
Later that year, I.C. started housing its growing number of phone lines and computers in a small office in downtown Mankato, while the company was still run out of the Karsten home with only one part-time employee.
In 1994, we moved the entire operation to an 800 square-foot space in the same downtown office building. At that time, we had five employees. This was the year we built and contributed web sites for the City of Mankato as well as the Mankato Free Press (making history as the first web site for a Minnesota daily newspaper).
In 1997, we expanded operations to four more communities (Owatonna, LeSueur, Waseca and New Ulm) and later to the Minneapolis-St. Paul. We upgraded our modems when faster speeds became available, and in 1999 brought DSL service to Mankato. Throughout these changes, demand for our web design was growing rapidly, and more staff was added.
In 2000, Dale left the business and I.C. sold the access portion of its business to HickoryTech. The business, in 2001, changed its name to VoyageurWeb to reflect the idea that we are guides for those who want to put the web to work through sites of their own.
Since 2007, we’ve been at home at the Union Square Building on North Broad Street in Mankato and have continued experimenting with and developing new products, techniques and services for our customers.
In 2010, we started working with content management software (WordPress and Drupal). Our entire staff learned new tools and techniques and we've attended national and state level conferences to continue that training ever since then.
In 2013, Dale rejoined the company as our Engineer after retiring from MSU. He set up cloud-based hosting for our clients and more sophisticated virtual work places for our staff.
In 2014, Jacqueline and Samantha Karsten both worked at the company for a while. So, the family that originally did the wiring at Kennedy Elementary in 1993 was all together again for a while before both young ladies moved on to other opportunities.
As we start 2016, we have launched a new logo. Our original logo was based on the Greek Key, a symbol which means maze or labyrinth and the green and blue was for the Earth.
Fitting for what the Internet was at the beginning. For 15 years, we used a globe with the words VoyageurWeb on it.
Our new 2016 logo with the sphere with red, green and blue represents the world and has the maze/labyrinth/web reflected in the white lines.
Twenty-two years ago we were bundling wires in a basement business exploring a new communications tool that, as it turned out, would change the world. Our role in providing the community with leadership and education in this technology has been exhilarating, and the voyage continues. We invite you to join us.
Staff Through the Years