US: Nyasha Tunduwani on forming non-profit that helps Black-owned tech companies grow

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Nyasha Tunduwani, founder of Seattle-based solution provider Real Impact Technology Consulting, was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Both of his parents were first-generation business owners. He remembers his father always had an element of technology no matter what industry his father’s business was in.

“My first exposure was playing games and programming on the Commodore 64. So, I learned BASIC when I was 13,” Tunduwani said.

He moved to the United States when he was 19 years old. It was the same year he started programming. Little did the founder of Real Impact know that working at an Indian restaurant underneath the first Amazon office in downtown Seattle would lead Tunduwani to his career break in the tech industry.

“One of the engineers told me I needed to study HTML in 1998.”

From there he went on to be a system administrator and reporting developer for the company that did Virgin Airlines vacations and, and Air France, holidays.

“Ultimately that led me to the point where just post-September 11 I was approaching 30 and I said, ‘I’ve got to strike out and start my own business.’ And so, that’s when I left to form what is now Real Impact.”

Jump ahead to 2020, after the death of George Floyd, solution provider founder started another business- Black Channel Partner Alliance also known as BCPA. The non-profit helps Black-owned tech companies grow at an accelerated speed through mentorship, coaching and community.

“Part of the challenge a lot of companies in the channel are facing is, we can‘t even identify the Black partners. So, that was something that we sought to rectify.”

Black Channel Partner Alliance helped create a social impact category so partners can search for Black or women partners in Microsoft’s AppSource.

In addition to the extensive work BCPA has done with Microsoft, AvePoint is another company the non-profit has partnered with.

“We ran a joint boot camp [with AvePoint] that we ran about 40 partners through. The AvePoint team said, ‘Well, we’re wondering how the partners stay this engaged.’

“If you’re working with a partner group that hasn’t had access to resources and you supply them with resources, they‘re excited and engaged to be involved and have someone to actively reach out to them and be able to provide them with these resources.”

Tunduwani says having these communities, initiatives provides the support needed to help Black-owned businesses get ahead with hopefully fewer obstacles.

“You don’t have to go out there and fight every battle yourself. You can just see other people’s battle scars and learn from them.”