Page 34 - Final_Online_Version2516
P. 34
Springfield

I Build It, She Secures It

Quiana Gainey, CEO, and JaLisa Johnson, President, SecureTech360
founded SecureTech360 in 2010. From the beginning the
two entrepreneurs consulted the SBDC at the Community ___________________
Business Partnership (CBP) in Springfield for training Quiana Gainey
and advice in launching and sustaining their business—a JaLisa Johnson
small, minority, woman-owned, service-disabled-veteran-
owned cybersecurity, information technology and unified work and the reality of getting into this kind of business.
communication-consulting firm. You really need a mentor, someone who understands your
Johnson was in business and Gainey was still on active duty, business and how to help you grow it. She’s helped us over the
when one of their clients suggested they should go into bumps in the road, and really taught us how to network. We
business together to meld their complimentary engineering are very grateful,” said Johnson.
and non-traditional IP skill sets. As Johnson put it, “I build
it, she secures it.” Sales rose to $1.7 million in
“We started taking classes in 2010, finding out about how 2015, and SecureTech360 will
to get a business started, how to get our disabled-veteran double their workforce from
paperwork done, finances, QuickBooks, and contracts in
general,” said Johnson. With five years in business, $600,000 11 to 22 in 2016.
in sales, 11 full-time employees and 20 contractors under
their umbrella, SecureTech360 entered the incubator at CBP Johnson and Gainey are both committed to giving back,
in 2012, where the SBDC is also located. especially to young females in STEM. “Research shows girls
By 2015, sales rose to $1.7 million, as the firm added major have better eye-hand coordination then boys which is essential
clients such as the U.S. Department of Health and the U.S. to engineering, but they don’t get introduced to the gaming
Department of Homeland Security. Johnson explained that world and engineering fields that are the future of our society,”
the projects they are taking on now are long-term build outs said Johnson. Last year SecureTech360 started an internship
instead of one-shot starter projects. They plan to add another program for three young women from Washington, DC, and
11 positions in the first six months of 2016, doubling their hired one of them. This year, they are launching a STEM
workforce. summer camp.
SecureTech360’s founders worked with the SBDC’s Debbie
Deever at CBP from the beginning. “She’s been our angel and
mentor being there and understanding how small businesses

34
   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39