“New Hampshire is a perfect combination of a great place to live, good educational resources and great career opportunities, whether you’re starting your career, or growing it.”
Ryan Barton has always been good with technology. As a teenager growing up in Laconia, New Hampshire, he was working in construction when a local school caught wind of his knack for technology and asked him to fix its computers. The issues were righted within hours and, from Ryan’s perspective, it was “a whole lot better than digging ditches at a construction site.”
Today, Ryan Barton is CEO of Mainstay Technologies, an IT services firm with offices in Belmont and Manchester. The company primarily services New Hampshire-based companies, with a few clients in Massachusetts, and has grown to more than 40 employees over the last 10 years. From 2012 to 2015, the company made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing small businesses in the U.S. and has since earned numerous in-state awards, including the New Hampshire Business Review’s award for 'Best Managed IT Service' firm in 2016 and 2017.
The company’s growth, according to Ryan, is thanks in large part to the state’s supportive business community.
“As a young entrepreneur, I have found so many educational tools and resources that helped me start and grow my business,” Ryan said. “The business community has been so helpful. It’s the kind of place where CEOs will take you to lunch and offer to mentor you when you’re first starting out.”
When he’s not busy growing his company, Ryan is spending time with his wife and two children. The state’s quality of life, combined with its growing technology presence, is important to Ryan, as he strives to lead a balanced life.
“New Hampshire is a great place to live and raise a family,” Ryan said. “It’s an incredible place if you love nature and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation around us, with a pretty low cost of living and a lot of opportunities.”
“If you’re in IT, there’s a chance to find very low-cost, high-quality education resources with a proven track record,” he continued, referring specifically to the state’s community college system. NHTI (New Hampshire Technical Institute) in Concord, in particular, has been a great resource for his employees. “If you’re a little further on in your career, there is a really booming tech scene in New Hampshire with a lot of companies that are hungry for talent at different levels. So it’s a perfect combination of a great place to live, good educational resources and great career opportunities, whether you’re starting in your career, or growing it.”
Ryan says the growth of the state’s tech scene in recent years is palpable. “To have a good tech ecosystem you have to have established players, companies like Mainstay, which are great places to start and grow your career, and you have to have startups. I’ve seen growth in all three of those areas over the last 10 years.” He adds that he has also seen considerable growth in incubators, angel funds and other resources for entrepreneurs, as well as statewide attention and stakeholder engagement surrounding New Hampshire’s tech industry.
Ryan’s advice for a tech professional considering a move to the state? “Life is so much better when you’re not looking at your paycheck every day.”
“New Hampshire, in my opinion, is not the place to be if you want to absolutely max out your earning power,” he said. “It’s the place to be if you want a balanced life in a place that you really enjoy, where other people come to vacation. I’m growing my business at a good clip while building a house on the lake and raising two little kids. It’s a dream come true.”
Fun Facts:
  • Ryan has been the recipient of Young Professional of the Year awards from both Stay Work Play and the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
  • Ryan and his wife are building a house in Moultonborough, a town in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
  • Ryan and his wife are proud parents to a two-year-old and a four-month-old.