In the burgeoning landscape of the trillion dollar tech industry, saturated with ambitious venture capital start-ups and aggressive multinational corporations, where is the real-estate for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE)? The terrain may appear rocky and isolating, but like Founder of QED National Colleen Molter has proven over the last 25 years as the IT consulting firm’s trailblazing President, it’s not impossible to navigate.
On June 13, 2018 Colleen and Uche Ojeh, Managing Partner of UAO Consulting, represented the newly established MWBE GovTek Coalition, who coordinated with the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to host a City of New York sponsored vendor event to decrypt this very question and supply answers. NYC DoITT longed to foster a meaningful dialogue between local government and M/WBE technology vendors, a conversation Colleen has been involved in throughout her career. Of the MWBE GovTek Coalition’s varied objectives, such as educate agencies about the M/WBE Innovative Procurement vehicle that streamlines discretionary purchasing for City entities from certified M/WBEs (capped at $150,000 per occurrence), their main concern is raising government awareness and understanding for M/WBE capabilities and cultivating the opportunity to showcase their technological offerings.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of City Hall, Small Business Services and many M/WBE advocates,” Colleen stated, “Today, more than ever before, the atmosphere is very favorable for M/WBEs to work directly with NYC Agencies.”
This event served to address specialized capabilities and stubborn challenges for M/WBEs, such as delivering highly tailored solutions while also lacking some of the bandwidth to compete with larger, publicly traded firms. By opening channels of communication between M/WBE vendors and government customers in technology, the road to valued partnerships, reliable technology solutions, and accessible opportunities becomes clearer and easier to traverse.