This is the fourth and final in a series of posts about the winners of SCORE DC’s 2021 Black Entrepreneur Pitch Event competition with MagicMakers Group.

2021 Black Entrepreneur Pitch Event Winner – Experienced Service Category

Critical Path SolutionsIt is a good thing that Mark Dozier has an air of calm and confidence about him. For 20+ years, he has helped businesses plan and prepare for all types of crises from mass casualties to cyberattacks. Building on this experience and expertise, Mark founded his own Continuity of Operations company in 2012, Critical Path Solutions, which has primarily worked with government clients.

The company’s ‘Compass’ service allows organizations to “know their readiness” through assessment and development of plans, policies, training, and exercises. “Readiness gives you direction, a map in time of crisis – and that’s why we call our service ‘The Compass’,” Mark explained. “We know these things happen -- active shooters, hurricanes, tornadoes, pandemics. Whatever the case, the more that we’re ready, the more we can actually deal with these kinds of things as they come.”

The pandemic saw an uptick in business for Critical Path Solutions as organizations tried to understand how to be prepared and protected and then how to recover and resume or adapt operations. One federal agency turned to Mark and Critical Path Solutions after they tracked increases in drug use, and incidences of suicide and domestic violence due to the shutdown of drug clinics and support groups. Critical Path Solutions worked with the agency to identify existing policies and programs that have successfully addressed these issues and then helped it adapt them to provide the needed access to care.

Mark would now like to expand his client base beyond government and has set his sights on the CVSs, Walmarts and Costcos of the world. “When you're a $50 billion company, you have a lot of assets and procedures in place, but because you're a $50 billion company you may be complacent, thinking ‘oh we're squared away because we're so big and we know we're doing so well,’” offers Mark. “But it is those very companies who have so many Americans in their hands, that they better be sure they really are ready for an attack and the ability to continue on and not cause shortages of gas or whatever it is that they supply to American consumers.”

The pitch event gave Mark the opportunity to hone his message for people outside the emergency management field. And his winnings have now enabled his company to contract with a business developer to open doors and make introductions in the private sector.

Mark Dozier is a new SCORE DC client and credits SCORE mentor Malcolm Slovin with thoroughly preparing him for the pitch event and making him “really business-centric as to why The Compass,” a critical pivot for selling to commercial versus government entities.

Mark Dozier presenting at the 2021 Black Entrepreneur Pitch event