Entrepreneur Uses Start-Up to Inspire Students to Consider a Technology Future

Mondo Davison is an entrepreneur and the self-labeled “Black Tech Guy” based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through his start-ups and advocacy of technology careers, Mondo is creating opportunities for minority students. “Many young black men dream of being athletes as plan A… and I am creating a narrative for Plan A to be in tech,” explains Mondo.

NBA Dream to Tech Advocacy

Mondo Davison credits the success of his entrepreneur journey to his family. “It didn’t matter what my future vision was… they wanted me to go for it,” explains Mondo. As a young boy, Mondo had aspirations to become an NBA player and worked towards that goal with great discipline. After failing to make the NBA dream a reality, Mondo was faced with the question he heard several times during his athletic journey: “What is your plan B after sports?”

At the age of 25, Mondo was offered an opportunity to step into education in the St. Paul school district. Mondo shared, “At first, this was just a job….but then in year two, I realized that working with minority students was where I was supposed to be.” While serving in the public school system, Mondo was soon captivated by a CNBC special called “Planet of the Apps” which detailed the future of app creation in the tech industry. Being intrigued by the special, Mondo explained that he “had to be in that space… and that is how I fell into the Tech industry.”

Davison is now committed to promoting his tech platform, “the Black Tech Guy,” and advocating for minority students to see a future in technology. Mondo is using his start-up company MyBarJar as the foundation of his better future narrative. “My goal with this company is to sell it for a bare minimum of 326 million dollars,” shares Mondo, “which is 1 million dollars more than the current highest-paid athlete’s contract.” At first, it sounds as if Mondo is pursuing the price tag. However, his ultimate purpose is to prove that through tech there is potential to outdo someone in the sports world.

Current Tech Initiatives

The main tech initiative that Mondo is pursuing is a crowdfunding tool called MyBarJar. The idea for this tech tool came while Mondo attended one of his uncle’s birthday parties. “I was asked by relatives that couldn’t attend to buy my uncle a drink for his birthday… that’s where the idea was born,” explains Mondo. Anyone celebrating a life event (birthday, bachelor party, anniversary, etc.) can set up a MyBarJar account with a shareable link for friends to purchase drinks as a gift.

After being tested in the Minneapolis area in 2016 as a website, the platform is currently in app development. The technology behind the app will use a crowdfunding system that communicates between the API of a credit card and the MyBarJar account. Mondo described, “Customers use their credit cards as they normally would at the bar… and then we integrate with the credit card companies for money to be transferred out of the MyBarJar accounts.”

Along with MyBarJar, Mondo has several other initiatives that combine the tech industry and education. Shortiez.us is a platform to increase literacy by empowering students to interact and input their names and other personal information into different stories. There is also a tool in development to bridge the gap between citizens and police with accurate bystander data. Over the next 50 years, Mondo has aspirations to continue making an impact with technology that impacts students, families and his city.

Learn more from Mondo Davison and MyBarJar as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal