All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise located at 6450 Michigan Avenue in Southwest Detroit, is a total solutions provider and value-added reseller of IT products and services. Its services vary from desktop computer and laptop sales and service to electronic waste recycling to technology consulting and training, among others. Founder Willie Brake is committed to building a bridge to the digital divide by making technology affordable and accessible to all.
What inspired you to found All About Technology?
I was inspired and took advantage of the opportunity to create All About Technology because I saw a gaping void in my community as it related to retail options for technology. My nearest competitors were not located within city limits. Also, there was a divide between people who could afford technology and its services and those who could not. Our mission is to serve as a community hub and build a bridge over that divide and make technology affordable and accessible for all.
Why did you select Detroit as your headquarters?
I’m a native Detroiter and a Wayne State University alum, so the selection was natural. During my corporate career I worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, education, retail and consulting in locations around the world. I have a passion for solving problems and being of service to others and I developed a strong desire to return and lend my expertise to uplift my community. All About Technology by far is my greatest accomplishment primarily because of the impact that we have on our customers’ lives. Needless to say, I’m delighted to be a part of the Detroit revitalization.
How do you want your company to impact Detroit in the long term?
I want All About Technology to be a household name and a responsible corporate citizen y impacting people, profits and the planet in all of our decisions. Our brand new, street level flagship Michigan Avenue store is currently serving as a pilot and will be used as a blueprint for replication in other targeted neighborhoods so we can continue to make technology affordable and accessible for all. I want the community to continue to support our store and take advantage of our local knowledgeable experts who provide great technology products and services at competitive prices while delivering great customer service.
What is the All About Technology culture all about?
We’re a small but mighty team. Academic excellence, community service and mentorship is a huge part of our culture. We are partners with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, SER Metro, and the Youth Development Commission to give IT experience to young adults through internships, job shadows and summer employment. I donate my time, resources, network and talents to ensure our youth are properly prepared for opportunities in the 21st century by serving as a mentor to our interns (who range in age from 14 to 21). It’s very rewarding to see them succeed by shifting the trajectory of their futures and lives. In fact, one of our interns went on to graduate from high school, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and eventually started his own business. It’s a wonderful thing to see a mentee soar, knowing you made a direct impact by being a positive influence in the life of a young adult.
The other component of our culture embodies knowledge sharing with the community and customers. We strive to empower our customers to make better decisions and understand technology to its fullest potential.
Lastly, there is always the culture of striving to improve. We’re a part of DEGC’s Biz Grid, and we’ve competed for NEIdeas in the past two years, advancing to the second round last year and as a finalist this year. I’ve participated in various local entrepreneurial initiatives designed to build and increase capacity such as Build Institute, Launch Detroit, ProsperUS Detroit and TechTown SWOT City. I’m also a recent graduate of the Tuck Executive Education Program at Dartmouth College, and Growing The Minority Business To Scale. I’ve been recognized by Corp! and DBusiness for my dedication, hard work and perseverance. I’m also the author of a published personal technology column, which appears in five local newspapers and magazines: City Talk Magazine, Detroit Native Sun, Telegram Newspaper, Detroit Smart Pages and Detroit City Limits.
When you can connect with another Detroit businesses, what benefits does that bring?
Partnering with other Detroit businesses allows us to build capacity and scale so that we can compete for bigger and better opportunities. In the end, it’s a win win for the buyer, the supplier and the customer!
D2D Program Manager