Surviving as an Entrepreneur in the Current Tech Space

By Adrianne Richardson

There are no magic answers for surviving in the current market as an entrepreneur, but there are tools and strategies that one can gain to improve their chances of success.
Based in Portland, Oregon, ScaleUp Partners, LLC focuses on inclusive competitiveness and uses consultancy and educational resources to create new systems and networks to improve underserved populations in the innovation economy.
“We live in a capitalist economy and that will not change,” said Co-Founder Johnathan Holifield. “We want to scale up the competitiveness.”
The opportunities available in the current tech space are almost exclusively directed to those who are competitive. ScaleUp Partners sees this and wants to put minorities, black and brown communities in the position to receive these opportunities by focusing on the infrastructure of these communities.
“How do we produce many new entrepreneurs?” said Holifield. “Many of the discussions do not address this—but that is what we [ScaleUp Partners] are addressing.”
Starting a company also requires dedication, passion and consumes a lot of personal time.
According to Co- Founder Dwayne Johnson, to seriously pursue starting a business, you have to be in love with what you are doing.
“The entrepreneur does everything and I suggest people learn what that is,” said Johnson. “If you are not passionate about it, you will not be successful.”
Surviving in the current market requires finding your own passion and then creating technology-based devices for it. By the time Johnson graduated from high school, he was creating programs for teachers to input grades into their grade-books–and he did it through personal initiative.
“Start thinking about what is available—phones are computers, too,” said Johnson.
“If you wait for someone to give you access, then it is not likely it will happen.”
But how do we get minorities to see the opportunities and get motivated to go after them? Once we are successful, how do we continue to expand the current tech space for people who are black and brown?
For Johnson, one way to diversify the current market is through those already in the industry encouraging those who want to be part of it.
“The industry has to be more active in sharing and mentoring others,” he said.
“It’s really us that is stopping us from moving forward.”
ScaleUp Partners is planning to have an incubator in one of its buildings to allow the community to see and network with people they wouldn’t normally meet. This will ultimately create a stream of opportunities and sustainable connections for the community.
There are many transformations taking place within every job and it involves the robotics and speed of communication. To succeed, you have to be ready for it.
“If all you know how to do is run the machine, then they won’t need you because the machine will be running itself.”
So while there are no magic tricks or genies in a bottle to whip up instant success within the current market space, there are opportunities for minorities to succeed if they diligently seek them.
For more information about ScaleUp Partners, LLC, visit

Johnathan M  Holifield 2014