February 11, 2020
Becca JohnsonStaff Writer
Michael Prattis an entrepreneur with a brain for business and a heart for history.
“I’ve spenttime learning all of who I am and where I’ve come from” Michael said. “I takeextreme pride in my background because I have knowledge of self, and that’sgiven me the confidence to take risks that have led to the successes I’ve enjoyedso far.”
Michael’s latest success comes from his new company, Pivet, which introduces different and sometimes never-before-seen tech products to store shelves. That’s why Best Buy looked to Pivet to design a limited-edition line of phone cases for Black History Month.
The phone casesare designed to be educational. They feature influential black figures andimages — Rosa Parks, the Sankofa bird and two black inventors, Lewis Latimerand Garrett Morgan.
“It’s my hopethat people enjoy the designs and also choose to learn some really coolAmerican history about technology we use today,” Michael said. “If we don’tunderstand the contributions of those who came before us, we limit ourabilities to go forward.”
Best Buy waslooking for a partner that could create designs from an authentic place.
“Pivet did notdisappoint,” said Marissa McCall, a Best Buy merchant analyst. “They designed abeautiful product.”
A portion of the phone case sales will benefit The National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Right out ofcollege, Michael immersed himself in the tech industry. He was living in theSan Francisco area as the dot-com boom started and was hired as a network techfor a digital subscriber line (DSL) company. In this role, he helped usher inthe first round of broadband internet to the U.S. market.
“Most people atthat time, at best, had dial up,” Michael recalled.
The dot-comboom eventually busted, and Michael began a new career as a distributor with alarge telecom company.
“When I moved into the mobile industry, there were no such things as smartphones,” said Michael. “That means I had the fortune of seeing smartphones from their introduction to what we have today — a product ingrained in people’s lives.”
Michael’srelationship with Best Buy began while he was still with the telecom company.
“As adistributor, I had a great opportunity to learn all about the supply chain andhow a product goes from concept to market — including Best Buy shelves,” hesaid.
Once he venturedoff on his own, the relationship remained.
“I was tryingto figure out who could actually help Pivet bring disruptive tech to market,and Best Buy was an obvious choice,” Michael said. “I think our partnershipworks because Best Buy is disruptive in its own right. It’s a company known fortaking risks on new ideas, partners and products.”
Celebrate Black History Month with accessories and movies, available exclusively at BestBuy.com.