The technology world is one of the fastest growing industries throughout the World. As a result, we have seen more people of color tapping into the business and making profits from it. As they tap into it, they have been reaching back to assist others to start thriving tech careers and businesses.
The Atlas Digital Group is a team of Technology, Design, and Growth enthusiasts. They are about building great products and great brands. I recently interviewed one of the founder, Greg.Digital, where he chatted more about the business and the inspiration behind what got the team started in the industry.
Can you tell myself and the readers about yourself and your upbringing?
My birth name is Greg Bryant. Since we’re in the tech industry and our tech firm is Atlas Digital Group, we became the (.) Digital’s, so I go by Greg.Digital. I was born in Buffalo, NY and moved to Atlanta, GA when I turned nine-years old.
Prior to us moving to Atlanta, all the factory jobs had left the city of Buffalo. I had almost gotten kicked out of school for bringing a knife to school. My mom saw the city was turning bad; it had turned into one of the top 10 poorest cities in the U.S.
I graduated from Columbia High school in 2006 then moved to West Palm Beach, FL. During those years, I had a lot of ups and downs. Those three places have a lot of things in common, but the one thing that stands out is the wealth that’s visible in certain areas of Atlanta, and especially in Florida. Being able to see how other people live opened my eyes to the life. I couldn’t have moved back in Buffalo and lived the life I wanted to live.
Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations/mentors? How did they impact your life?
Over the years I’ve had a number of mentors, some in which had no idea they were mentoring me. One that I keep in contact with is Sam Monroe. I met Sam while I was working on a partnership with the Boys and Girls club here in Palm Beach County back in 2016. He was a director of one of their facilities. He had soon went on the develop his own nonprofit organization. He gave me insight on the nonprofit world, helped me with personal growth, as well as the importance of self care. I didn’t know how to balance my love life and my business life. Sam taught me how to take time for myself then make sure everything else was taken care of. If I’m not good mentally, nothing can be accomplished correctly.
When did you realize you had a passion for entrepreneurship and technology?
This may sound crazy, but as a teenager I told myself by the age of 30, I’d have my own business. I had no idea what it would be but I knew I was destined for it. I’ve always been a gadget tech nerd but as technology evolved, I was forced to evolve with it. By the age of 30, I had a non-profit organization called Photo Patch Foundation, a tech firm Atlas Digital, and a record company OPC Records.
How did you first get involved into the tech sector?
I took a computer programming course back in high school. I didn’t know it would turn into something the older me would run into again, but it definitely came in handy. On a profitable perspective, I didn’t get deeply involved with tech until 2016 when my cousins and business partners Antoine Patton, Zach Patton, and I made a tech firm by the name of Overnight Tech Group which we revamped to Atlas Digital Group. There I became the COO and would build websites, help gain clients, and eventually handle project management.
What inspired you to co-found the non-profit app Photo Patch?
My cousin and business partner, Antoine Patton, was incarcerated for eight years. He knew I wanted my own business so he would send me business plans frequently. Once I saw the business plan for the Photo Patch Foundation, it was a no brainer. I know first hand what it feels like to have a minor connection and minimal communication parent. My father and I had a rocky relationship while I was growing up. I can relate to the youth who have a parent that’s incarcerated and barely speak to them.
While creating the app/organization what were some of your goals and expectations you had?
When we created Photo Patch our goal was to reach at least 1 percent. We say that a lot, just 1 percent. There are 2.7 million children who have a parent that’s incarcerated. That 1 percent has been reached since we launched the mobile app in 2018 that was created by Jay Jay, Antoine’s daughter.
You’re also the instructor of the Unlock Academy free coding class, how did this great idea come about?
Antoine taught himself how to code while he was incarcerated. He had also found a mentor who he promised he would pass the knowledge on that he had gained. Once our non-profit organization Photo Patch Foundation and our website and mobile app development firm Atlas Digital Group were at a good standpoint, he wanted to teach people how to code. After having the tech firm for two years I learned how important these skills were, so once again another no brainer (lol). I’ve done a lot of self-care and mental health development over the years so I wanted to offer my tech knowledge and approach the academy as a motivator and mental health coach.
Can you tell us the purpose of the academy and hopes the service has an impact?
The Unlock Academy sole purpose is to educate and empower the unprivileged communities with the skills we have gained and that aren’t offered to us until it’s far too late. Our communities have been getting over looked for far too long. We’re here to provide high level skills at a very affordable price. We’re not stopping there though, we’re also helping them gain internships and if they want, create their own tech firms. As I say we’re helping our people shrink the wealth gap.
How can learning to code impact the direction of the culture moving forward?
Technology is running the world. When your cell phone, washing machine, fridge, and car are powered by “smart” technologies it is imperative that we’re learning the tools that drive these technologies. We have to get ahead of the curve so we’re no longer fighting just to survive. Learning these skills will help us live life on our own terms financially.
What great words of wisdom and advice can you offer our readers and future entrepreneurs?
In business and in your personal life, being at peace and protecting your mental state is key. You react differently when you’re taking care of your mental health correctly. Learn how to meditate. If you need some help reach out to me. I got you covered. One name I go by is “Mr. Meditate & Motivate”. Lastly, never underestimate the power of a good team. When your team are all on the same frequency, things flow a lot better.
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