Welcome back to another exciting #WeAreNMSDC Podcast!
On today’s episode we speak with the ever busy and always popular Avis Yates Rivers, founder and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International (TCGi). TCGi is an IT procurement company that focuses on progressive solutions, customized programs, long-term partnerships and improved ROI for clients. In addition to being heavily client focused Rivers is also committed to improving opportunities for minorities and women in Tech. Join our conversation as we talk about innovation in Tech, the growing need for diversity, and how staying committed to your core values can keep your business going even in the harshest of environments.
Technology Concepts Group International
0:38 The busy side of Avis Yates Rivers
2:34 The decline of women and minorities in Tech since the 1980s
9:38 The story of Technology Concepts Group International
11:36 The evolution of procurement
15:17 TCGi services and the future of IT procurement
17:45 The challenges TCGi faced throughout their history along with the challenges women face in Tech today
27:31 Advice for women and minorities in STEM today
29:42 Thoughts on funding for minorities and women
33:07 Being selected as one of the 50 Fastest Growing Women Owned-Led Companies by the Women Presidents’ Organization, and how NMSDC has played a role in that accomplishment.
35:00 Leveraging the NMSDC to win business
36:41 A message to corporate diversity representatives
WeAreNMSDC 5 Facts
- Avis Yates Rivers is fantastic CEO and published author. With the business novel “Necessary Inclusion, Embracing the Changing Faces of Technology”, Rivers highlights the declining participation of women and minorities in STEM and suggest ways to address the issue resulting in positive change
- There are a number of reasons women may not be interested in technology versus other industries. According to Rivers, these reasons include the portrayal of Tech employees in entertainment and the media, how the subject is taught in academia, and the sometimes hostile culture a tech corporations (see Uber).
- Be a creator! Rivers believes that minority and women owned companies need to segway from reselling and staffing, to creating products or offering unique innovative services to corporations. The future is creation and innovation.
- TCGi knows what it means to pivot. On 9/11, the company lost an estimated 30% of its business in a matter of hours. Figuring out a plan that allowed the company to move forward was key, and leveraging NMSDC relationships helped with that.
- TCGi is serious about innovating the IT procurement experience for large corporations. Currently the company is talking with corporations
to offer an Amazon like experience where users purchase items from suppliers in multiple spend categories based on national and global contracts
- Surprisingly, despite TCGi’s success in the Tech space, Rivers found it hard to win funding early on. When the Tech boom occurred, startups with less experience, revenue, and client lists were able to jump her in the line of investment opportunities. Unfortunately this is not unusual as many female entrepreneurs struggle when it comes to gaining funding, resulting in the failure of many high potential female led companies.
Supplierty News in conjunction with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) have teamed up to connect with NMSDC corporate and MBE members for podcast interviews. These conversations will highlight the benefits of supplier diversity programs from the personal experiences of both corporate and minority-owned businesses. If you’re interested in supporting the effort, Follow both Supplierty News and the NMSDC on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook, and visit their websites for more information. Also don’t forget to mention #WeAreNMSDC on all social media platforms.