How Quincy Offers Tech Support for Boomers

An older man looking at a cell phone
Erickson Stock / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re a digital native with older relatives, you’ve probably had to play the often unwanted role of family IT specialist. But for Ryan Greene ’21BUS, one such moment with his grandfather was a source of inspiration, not frustration. “I was visiting him in Florida after not seeing him for a couple of months,” Greene recalls, “and he comes out of his bedroom with a yellow legal pad full of computer tasks he needs help with.”

It was near the height of the pandemic, when everyone, especially seniors, was being forced to use technology in new ways, from family Zoom calls to telehealth appointments. After coaching his grandfather through the list and returning to his final semester at Columbia Business School, Greene began thinking about creating a structured way to help older adults use technology. He wanted to offer troubleshooting services but also show his clients ways to enjoy tech, like “learning about streaming services or how to read the Wall Street Journal on their iPad.” Over the course of that spring, with the help of a Columbia class called Launch Your Startup, Greene developed what would become Quincy, a tech-support service for adults fifty-five and over. 

The company is named for his grandfather’s former dog, alluding to the idea of being a “faithful companion,” Greene says. With just one phone call or a visit to, customers are connected to a human who will clearly and patiently guide them through their problem, often by remotely accessing their screen. “We want them to take a deep breath, have a snack, and watch us get to work,” Greene says.

Quincy offers two paid tiers of service, including a $4.99 per month pay-as-you-go plan, which caps the cost of a support session at $11, and a $19.99 per month all-inclusive plan. The company reaches other seniors through employee-benefits providers, health plans, and continuing-care retirement communities. Most customers, says Greene, are in their seventies or eighties, and the average problem takes Quincy technicians just fifteen minutes to solve. 

Ryan Greene, cofounder of Quincy
Ryan Greene

That efficiency is made possible by the company’s empathy training, which teaches technicians how to patiently and clearly guide customers through a problem. “When we describe something, we don’t say ‘x out.’ We say, ‘Look in the top-left corner. You should see a little red button to the left of a green button. Click that.’ And that’s assuming the individual knows what clicking is,” Greene says. “Human involvement is what makes the magic possible.”

While Quincy has helped older adults in thirty-eight states with everything from calling an Uber to getting back into a locked Facebook account, Greene says that printer trouble is one of the most common issues. Scam prevention is also a major focus, as elder fraud becomes increasingly sophisticated. “AI has made it scarily easy. They can scrape information readily available on Facebook, which is easy to put into a tailored e-mail, which could be asking for gift cards,” Greene explains. Quincy automatically notifies users if they’ve clicked a malicious link or visited a fake website designed to steal personal information. Seniors can also have a Quincy technician review suspicious texts, e-mails, and more. “We’re on the phone with our users, helping them determine whether that e-mail is authentic and then helping them find the right organization to call” to report a fraudulent one, he says. 

Through features like these, Greene hopes to position Quincy as a service one can enlist proactively to give older adults and their loved ones peace of mind. “My goal is to help people age more comfortably, whether that’s through accessing entertainment or being able to check their insurance portal,” he says. “I want Quincy to be America’s digital grandchild.” 


This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2024 print edition of Columbia Magazine with the title "Tech Support for Boomers."

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