Vennard Wright’s more than 25 years of experience in the information technology industry allowed him to showcase his talents with the Hilary Clinton presidential campaign in 2008, the Rushern Baker III campaign when elected Prince George’s County executive in 2010 and as a chief information officer (CIO) for various companies.
Wright decided to venture out on his own as president of Wave Welcome, a two-year-old company with seven employees located at National Harbor that helps small and medium businesses deliver digital technology, IT modernization and cyber risk compliance.
“Small and medium-sized businesses often can’t afford a CIO,” he said. “As a result, they often find themselves in a compromising position when it comes to data breaches, ransomware attacks and other things of that nature. We offer the same level of service that larger companies have access to.”
Wright’s company represents various Black-owned businesses in Prince George’s celebrating National Black Business Month.
The county’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC) featured Wave Welcome and three Black businesses this month. As of Monday, Aug. 22, the other three companies include: Blue Sky Innovative Solutions, owned by founder and CEO Melissa Peterson; Sankofa Health, owned by founder and CEO Marcus Ponder; and The Agency at National Harbor launched in 2017 by Brandi Bridgett.
The EDC offered some advice for businesses owners and residents that include:
- Spend money to support Black businesses by letting “your pockets do the talking.”
- Share resources.
- Write a testimonial on how a product or service helped.
This year for the first time, the EDC partnered with the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce to spread the word about National Black Business Month.
The chamber hosted a webinar Aug. 17 featuring Black business owners from across the state.
One week later on Wednesday, Aug. 24, the chamber and EDC scheduled a networking and happy hour in College Park.
“National Black Business Month is a moment to feature several of the many successful businesses based in Prince George’s County,” Ebony Stocks, executive vice president of the county’s EDC, said in a statement. “We are delighted to be able to partner with the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce to highlight the accomplishments of these businesses while also providing access to the EDCs resources and programming.”
One future goal to boost Prince George’s will come from the technology industry.
Wright, who chairs the county’s Tech Council, will host a networking “soiree” Sept. 1 at the Flight Deck at the Capital Wheel at National Harbor. He said about 90 people have registered toward a goal of registering more than 100 people.
His company serves as one of the founding sponsors of the council.
But Wright also has an objective for his company.
“My goal is to be Black Google. When you look at Google, they come up with crazy ideas and they’re a market leader,” he said. “My goal is to be an enterprise-level company. That is really my goal. I don’t want to be in the space of being a small business. I want to have an impact on innovation and change the narrative around Black businesses.”