Young and Diverse MBEs in Today’s Tech Space – Sai Naik

Southeast Michigan is not the only place where our great clients call home.  Going to the other side of the Michigan, one comes across the home office of Mavin Global and its CEO, Sai Naik. Mavin Global is a company that develops cloud-based software solutions for others. Also touching on the instant gratification issue, Naik realizes that as companies are required to provide services and products in quick and innovative ways, their employees need to be skilled enough to make it happen. Naik explains that basically “every industry, from hotels, banks, restaurants, and auto manufacturing to utilities, retail products, aerospace, and healthcare, is affected by this transformation of marketplace demand.” Mavin Global’s software, which is available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace, “helps companies transform the way they train, recruit, onboard, collaborate, and communicate so that their employees will always be performing at optimal levels.”

saiNaik is excited to continue innovating with Mavin Global and seeing what it can provide to clients and the community. The company is currently in the process of releasing its Mavin Ad-Learn ServerTM product, which focuses on students. Starting off with a school district in Grand Rapids, the software will allow middle and high school age children to learn useful skills through program case studies. These case studies are created by existing companies and will be based on real-world scenarios. Upon successful completion of the case studies, students are able to obtain coupons for products that are offered by some of these contributing companies. If students complete case studies related to highly-sought after or STEM skills, then they may be eligible for greater product and service discounts. Naik hopes that if the students see that their work is being rewarded, then they will “stay in school longer and learn more about what they can do to earn real money, discover careers, and pursue success more seriously.”

The desire to help students gain the proper skills is part of what makes Mavin Global a social enterprise. As Naik explains, the company has “worldwide offices and operations, yet [it] is driven by [the] desire to promote positive social change as [it is] by the pursuit of profit.” That motivation aligns with Naik’s personal goal, which is to help “50 other future-MBEs build and run billion-dollar companies in the technology space.” Something that will help Naik with his goal is a program that he and his team are working on that will assist African-American and Hispanic students in need “learn about emerging business opportunities, receive training and guidance from industry professional-partners, and ultimately build sustainable, scalable businesses capable of reaching and even surpassing the billion-dollar revenue target.”

Helping others is what the MBDA likes to do as well.  The MBDA is excited to have been able to lend a hand in one way or another to Naik and his team.  “The MBDA completely understands how much the Internet-of-Things and cloud connectivity is changing the way the economy will work, and it is at the forefront to ensure that Fortune 100 companies will be able to—and do—work with well-qualified and technologically prepared MBEs, confident that when given opportunities, MBEs will deliver,” explains Naik.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with this bright, young man and his company.

Mavin Global – http://mavinglobal.com/

Silvia A. Mansoor

Young and Diverse MBEs in Today’s Tech Space – Michael Antaran

In our last post, we mentioned that Peter Vazquez was branching out into the app industry with MyVIPClubs.  Another mobile application that deserves mention, however, is CARROT Wellness. This application is created by CARROT Pass, LLC, which was founded and is headed by Michael Antaran. CARROT Wellness seeks to address important healthcare concerns facing the United States with a focus on obesity and inactivity. CARROT Wellness is a win-win-win situation for everybody involved. The fitness application provides employers an easy-to-use and rewarding tool to promote wellness within their companies. Employees become fitter, healthier, and gain points that allow them to obtain rewards. Merchants that provide the rewards gain marketing and business exposure.

mike-ceoAlthough they would not get the full features, the application is not exclusively reserved to individuals who are part of an employment program—it is available to download for all Android and iOS users. It currently boasts an 85% daily usage rate and has motivated users to walk nearly 25% more within their first two months of use. Antaran and his team are ready to continue developing and improving CARROT Wellness in the coming months through increased business interest and added rewards.

Antaran, also the founder of the parent company, Marvel Apps, LLC, had previously spent fifteen years as an engineer in the automobile industry. Antaran explains that he was able to take “many of the auto industry’s tenets, such as creating reliable, high-quality products that meet the needs of consumers, in establishing [his] indie software company.” That company and Antaran have already done well for themselves. Among other accolades, in 2014, Antaran was selected to participate in Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program, and Marvel Apps has been annually recognized as one of Southeast Michigan’s top application developers by Crain’s Detroit Business.

The MBDA is enthusiastic about Antaran’s success; we know that what he and his team have accomplished is no small feat.  The MBDA has been able to help Antaran and his companies with access to capital, “[b]ut more than anything,” Antaran explains, “the MBDA has helped open doors for us. We’ve been able to connect with other businesses in the area who can take advantage of our product, and we’ve had the chance to meet industry leaders who have given us great insights.”  More importantly, however, we are excited to continuing seeing Antaran and his creations rise up in the ranks.

 

CARROT Pass – http://www.carrotpass.com/ Marvel Apps – http://marvelapps.com/

 

Silvia A. Mansoor

 

Young and Diverse MBEs in Today’s Tech Space – Peter Vazquez

One thing that today’s young entrepreneurs may understand more than any other generation is the power of communication. Connecting with the customer base is a major key to success. Companies have to know how to connect, including knowing what communication channels to take advantage of. This is something that Peter Vazquez understands; especially since he is the CEO of Brand Echo Media Solutions—a company that helps others do exactly that. A veteran and active community member, Vazquez heads up a company that “creates strategies and implements data acquisition processes in order to develop effective marketing cpete-vampaigns using both web and mobile technologies that result in clients achieving a much higher return on their investment.” The marketplace is constantly changing, and Brand Echo wants to help its clients tackle it every step of the way.

Vazquez himself has a background and skills in business, design, marketing, and more specifically, Internet marketing. Equipped with such expertise and experience, Vazquez and his team at Brand Echo “excel in developing actionable market research, establishing brand recognition through social media awareness and viral marketing strategies, and integrating a variety of comprehensive SEO and content marketing techniques for [businesses of any size].”

Brand Echo, however, is not the only thing that Vazquez has on his plate these days. His latest project comes in the form of a startup called MyVIPClubs. As millennials—a generation used to instant gratification and results—become a large part of the consumer base in the restaurant and entertainment industries, MyVIPClubs seeks to be a part of that action. The company provides a membership program and mobile application that connects patrons to restaurant and venue owners in order to provide “Hospitality Reinvented.” The application is currently available for download on both Android and iOS systems.

The MBDA is excited to have played even a small part in Vazquez’s success and is eager to see what he has in store for the future.

Brand Echo – http://brandechomedia.com/ | MyVIPClubs – http://www.myvipclubs.com/

Silvia A. Mansoor

 

Young and Diverse MBEs in Today’s Tech Space – Adrian Walker

adrian-walkerContinuing the theme of young and diverse MBE’s in today’s tech space, we want to introduce everybody to Adrian Walker.  A former engineer and data scientist in the automotive industry, Walker is the founder and CEO of Senetur. Offering an easy-to-use cloud-based dashboard, this is a company that prides itself on being an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) predictive analysis and data intelligence company focused on providing services to the manufacturing and logistics industries. When formed, Senetur set out to address the information and intelligence gap that plague “off-line” companies. Providing services to companies of all sizes, Senetur helps them stay competitive in the marketplace by harnessing and analyzing their data by using cutting-edge artificial intelligence and data analytics tools.

According to Walker, over the next few years, all Senetur wants to do is provide a “best-in-class SaaS platform and service” to its clients. Once that happens, “the rest will take care of itself.” Walker explains that his company and team “have great ambition, and don’t plan to settle for anything less than being the most comprehensive and effective predictive analytics and artificial intelligence company in the [manufacturing and logistics] industries.”

When asked what makes Senetur stand out from the rest, in addition to the actual product, Walker indicates that it is the understanding that he and his team have with the clients. “[We] have all worked in manufacturing and manufacturing application, and we know what it’s like to wake up every day fighting fires in a plant facility or launching a new product with limited information from other engineers and plant team leaders.”

The MBDA is extremely proud of Walker and Senetur.  We are always excited to lend a hand in one way or another to our young entrepreneurs and MBEs.  As Walker explains, Senetur’s offices are both in Michigan and California, so the MBDA has helped Senetur with “staying plugged into the Michigan business and technology ecosystem.”  We look forward to the great things that will come from Walker and his company in the future.

 

Seneturhttp://www.senetur.com/ For anybody interested in learning even more about Senetur, data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning, or AI for their respective industries, please contact Senetur’s business development manager, Ken Hurtt (ken.hurtt@senetur.com).

 

Silvia A. Mansoor

Young and Diverse MBEs in Today’s Tech Space

As 2016 comes to a close, if we take a pause and absorb the world around us, we quickly realize that technology has come a long way in a short period of time.  Not much more than a hundred years ago, typewriters were becoming commonplace.  Now, they are an ancient relic found in museums.  Technological advancement is exponential with changes becoming more dramatic and drastic than ever.

It may have been early Gen Xers and maybe even Baby Boomers who laid some of the framework of modern technology out.  After all, Steve Jobs was no Millennial; neither are Bill Gates, Larry Page, or Tim Berners-Lee.  Given that, however, it is the late Gen Xers and especially Millennials that are the shakers and movers these days.  Consider Mark Zuckerberg, Brian Chesky, Michelle Phan, and more.  Perhaps the most educated, entrepreneurial, and tenacious of all generations of recent memory, Millennials are ever so present in today’s technology space.

Here at the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), we work with a variety of minority-owned businesses in different industries.  Most of them are in the traditional automotive supply and even construction industries.  After all, Michigan is still home to the Big Three, and is currently experiencing a construction boom—especially in the Southeast.  However, there is more to Michigan and our clients.  Several of them are high-technology companies headed by none other than young and bright individuals that are ready to challenge the way we work, live, and play.  Over the next few posts, we will introduce you to a few.  The MBDA is excited to see what amazing things these young entrepreneurs and MBEs will do in the field of technology. We applaud their hard work and success.

 

Silvia A. Mansoor