A project aimed at giving computers to people in need and helping minority businesses has turned to a local firm to help do that.

Markevis Gideon heads NerdiTNow, which has been buying and repairing computers, tablets and smartphones and donating them to what he calls "underserved" communities for some time now.

"Since we started our business 5 years ago, we've donated...well, up until this year, over 500 devices, but throughout the COVID pandemic, we've helped donate over 4,000 might have seen us on [ABC's] Shark Tank, where we go ahead and repair all types of devices, for [individual] consumers and for industries," said Gideon.

Gideon said it all started when he was 12, and a teacher gave him a laptop.

"That right there changed the trajectory of my life--so much so that I ended up going to Howard High School of Technology down in Wilmington, and became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer by 17.  I went off to college, first in my family, (and) I then lived in China for 5 years, and when I came back, I still saw that my community still had this big digital divide," said Gideon.

Gideon's company, NerdiTNow, wasn't funded after appearing last year on Shark Tank, but does participate in the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, a collaboration between Barclays Bank, the Pete DuPont Freedom Foundation and Wilmington Alliance with an eye toward growing small businesses in the city.