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Minority Tech Entrepreneur Applauds Tech Giants' Million-Dollar Donations, Questions Effectiveness

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Las Vegas' Terrence Johnson, Whose Mobile Gaming App is in Google Play and App Stores, Offers Insight Into Technology Industry for Minority Developers

LAS VEGAS - Amzeal -- When Apple recently announced it was donating $25 million to the Propel Center, a learning hub for black colleges and universities; $10 million to Harlem Capital, an early stage New York City venture capital firm and $25 million to the Siebert Williams Shank's Clear Vision Impact Fund that provides capital to small and medium sized minority businesses, Terrence Johnson had mixed feelings.

Few can argue that Apple's generous contributions are timely and beneficial for minority businesses, especially people like Johnson, founder and managing partner of Grt Technologies, LLC, a Las Vegas-based software development, design and consulting company.

But he does think such good intentions are missing their mark.

"I think Apple is like a lot of companies, trying to figure out how to recruit more people of color," Johnson said, a former financial advisor and entrepreneur. "Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Facebook, Google – they all give large donations – but what makes programs effective is strategic planning.

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African-American technology pioneers like Jerry Lawson have influenced Johnson's views on entrepreneurship and what it takes to be successful. February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a month-long celebration of black excellence and contributions. But hardly anyone today realizes that Lawson is behind the technology we all use in our homes and offices.

Lawson, a self-taught engineer without a college education, developed the first video game system with interchangeable cartridges. He and Allan Alcon, who formed the startup company Syzygy that would become Atari, developed the arcade video game "Pong."

Lawson became a highly respected field applications engineering consultant for Fairchild Semiconductor, and in later years founded Videosoft, the first African American-owned video game development company.

"I think these large donations are great ideas," Johnson said. "These large companies have been giving money away for 20 years. But are you putting money out to foster the growth of talented leaders like Jerry Lawson and entrepreneurs, or to create work for yourself?"

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Johnson's company recently was successful in having its new mobile game app, MowMee, listed for download in the Apple Store. It is also available in the Google Play roster of popular gaming apps.

MowMee is a lawn-care game of skill where one tries to avoid objects in a yard such as trees, cars, buses, rocks, etc. to score points and gain more time to play. The entrepreneur spent five years developing his MowMee game.

Johnson is actively involved and dedicated to promoting all forms of minority businesses. Future goals include working with tech firms on brand development, identifying Affinity Groups, bidding and acquiring military and government contracts. For more information, visit https://www.mowmeethegame.com.

Reggie Burton

Source: Grt Technologies
Filed Under: Business, Technology

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