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Buy a phone case, get a lesson in black history for free

Michael Pratt is an entrepreneur with a brain for business and a heart for history.

“I’ve spent time learning all of who I am and where I’ve come from” Michael said. “I take extreme pride in my background because I have knowledge of self, and that’s given me the confidence to take risks that have led to the successes I’ve enjoyed so 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.

“If we don’t understand the contributions of those who came before us, we limit our abilities to go forward.”

Michael Pratt

The phone cases are designed to be educational. They feature influential black figures and images — Rosa Parks, the Sankofa bird and two black inventors, Lewis Latimer and Garrett Morgan.

“It’s my hope that people enjoy the designs and also choose to learn some really cool American history about technology we use today,” Michael said. “If we don’t understand the contributions of those who came before us, we limit our abilities to go forward.”

Best Buy was looking for a partner that could create designs from an authentic place.   

“Pivet did not disappoint,” said Marissa McCall, a Best Buy merchant analyst. “They designed a beautiful product.”

 A portion of the phone case sales will benefit The National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Two decades of tech

Right out of college, Michael immersed himself in the tech industry. He was living in the San Francisco area as the dot-com boom started and was hired as a network tech for a digital subscriber line (DSL) company. In this role, he helped usher in the first round of broadband internet to the U.S. market.

“Most people at that time, at best, had dial up,” Michael recalled.

The dot-com boom eventually busted, and Michael began a new career as a distributor with a large 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’s relationship with Best Buy began while he was still with the telecom company.

“As a distributor, I had a great opportunity to learn all about the supply chain and how a product goes from concept to market — including Best Buy shelves,” he said.

Once he ventured off on his own, the relationship remained.

“I was trying to figure out who could actually help Pivet bring disruptive tech to market, and Best Buy was an obvious choice,” Michael said. “I think our partnership works because Best Buy is disruptive in its own right. It’s a company known for taking risks on new ideas, partners and products.”

Celebrate Black History Month with accessories and movies, available exclusively at BestBuy.com.