Our Year in Review – How 2020 Became a Year of Action

Year in Review

When we think about 2020, the word “adapting” certainly comes to mind, as does the word “action.” While the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset altered many well-laid plans, it’s also been a year of incredible growth for GFTC and throughout the tech industry. We’re sharing a roundup of some of the most impactful milestones that have kept us cheering each other on through challenging times. Read on to catch up on all we’ve been up to this year and to learn how you can join us on some new channels we recently launched!

It would be remiss of us to neglect to mention one of 2019 all-time highlights, as we wound down last year with WHUR 96.3. GFTC CEO and Principal Consultant joined the Small Business Report show to share insights about her entrepreneurial journey and the great things we are doing at GFTC!

We started 2020 strong as the proud winners of the Ureeka Coaching Giveaway. GFTC CEO Qyana M. Stewart, MS, partnered with Ureeka, a social impact innovation incubator working to combat the barriers faced by entrepreneurs due to race, gender, and geography to help shatter mainstream entrepreneurship’s glass ceiling for a six-part coaching series. We joined some great startups and new business ventures in this program. Ureeka is doing some exciting things to grow the New Majority of entrepreneurs. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check them out! 

In February, we joined the George Washington University School of Business professor Dedra Faine’s Undergraduate & Graduate Entrepreneurship Course. Professor Faine interviewed GFTC’s CEO on her career in information technology, her entrepreneurship journey, and how she turned her passion for using technology to develop solutions that make our society healthier and equitable into a company!

We hunkered down for the rest of the winter and welcomed spring by hosting Bowie State University’s first-ever Mobile App Management & Design Workshop. Our effervescent CEO originally led this workshop at George Washington University in 2019, the first-ever mobile app design and development workshop held by GW, which covered the best approaches to building apps and what you need to consider when building a successful, marketable mobile app. We had such a fantastic response to this event; we brought it back this year with Bowie State and the George Washington University – virtually! 

A huge shoutout to our friends at ACT – The App Association for featuring us as part of their social media series on small businesses in tech during last May’s Small Business Week. 

As a proud member of the App Association, we also kicked off the App Economy Conference 2020 | Virtual Edition (AppCon ’20) earlier this year, where we met (virtually!) with the House Judiciary majority committee to discuss the US House Digital Markets Antitrust Report. We also met with Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr to discuss the importance of ensuring access to broadband connectivity for telehealth. And, how meeting patients where they are when it comes to their digital devices could be transformational when it comes to expanding access to healthcare services and products. We were also proud to sign onto a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, urging the Subcommittee to consider the impact expanding federal antitrust law could have on Black Americans in tech-driven industries and small businesses. 

In June, we joined the App Association’s Tech Swamp podcast, where GFTC’s fearless leader shared her experiences as a Black woman in tech and her work to eradicate the barriers that young women of color face in the tech industry by providing access to mentorship, and career and workforce development.

Also in June, we joined the District of Columbia Small Business Development Center (DCSBDC) for their Social Media Monday webinar series to talk about small business resources and support during COVID-19. We’re proud to say this was another event that went so well we joined DCSBDC for another webinar in early fall to discuss how small businesses can leveraging content marketing and social media to help foster growth during the pandemic. 

We hit one of our most exciting milestones in July when we celebrated GFTC’s second anniversary over the summer! Our celebrations were low key this year, but we raised our glasses virtually to toast our hard work, efforts, clients, and team members cheering us on from day one!

In August, we got ourselves in back-to-school mode. We joined our pals at the App Association and the Congressional App Challenge, along with fellow App Association members, to chat about our app development experiences – and what we wished we had known when we were starting out – for their Back to School Webinar: Download With Developers event. 

October marked the launch of several exciting mentorship initiatives and programs, including the Maryland STEM Festival and the Korea Innovation Center Washington DC Tech Frontier Program, in partnership with the KIC Washington DC Center and The George Washington University Innovation Center. GFTC’s CEO served as a program mentor, working with seven entrepreneurial teams as they test their products and ventures in the US market in support of bringing their technologies to market throughout Korea and the US. 

Our cheers could be heard across town in late October as we celebrated the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to expand TV white space for wireless internet access. A move that will provide broadband connectivity for millions of underserved Americans and bring us another step closer to closing the digital divide. A topic we care about deeply.

November 3, 2020, brought Election Day, and we urged people to get out and vote! And they listened – voter turnout hit record highs, and we made history with the election of the first Black American, South Asian American, HBCU graduate, female Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris. 

We recently joined the George Washington University Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for In Conversation: Female Entrepreneurship During a Pandemic for a great discussion around student entrepreneurship, the intersection of entrepreneurship and social media, and the role nonprofits play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

But that’s not all! Last but certainly not least, we also launched our new blog, GlobalForce Insights, and our newsletter, GFTC Insider! Make sure you follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn so you don’t miss out on anything when we hit the ground running in 2021. We hope you’ll beat us there!