Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Frank Romo, GMS 2008

Meet Gates Millennium Scholar x Entrepreneur: Frank Romo

RomoGIS Enterprises  /Detroit Developers Group /



About Frank

Frank is a real estate developer, urban planner, and community advocate working to positively impact the urban landscape. He is the CEO and founder of RomoGIS an IT consulting company working to advance the greater good through the use of innovative technologies and community-driven research. He also works as a real estate developer in Detroit, Michigan where his company, the Detroit Developers Group, seeks to improve the quality of life for Detroiters by providing high-quality housing and practicing responsible urban development. Since receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship Frank has worked tirelessly to give back to marginalized communities by fighting for social justice and advocating for greater equity in cities around the world through his research, technical expertise and community organizing.

GMS: Tell us about your businesses

Frank:  With RomoGIS we have trained professionals using a variety of products including open source GIS software, web mapping applications and GIS for desktop. Our past clients include non-profit organizations in Detroit, Michigan, research organizations in Los Angeles, California and international non-governmental organizations.

With Detroit Developers Group our team of professionals provide real estate consulting and construction services in Detroit, Michigan. From strategic planning to brokering real estate deals, our team is focused on building a better Detroit through responsible urban development. 

The website (Race and Policing) is a map we created that shows the hundreds of protests occurring across the United States and highlights key images from each city.

GMS: What inspired you to start these businesses.

Frank: I began these businesses to help support minority communities. My goal is to use my skills in research, technology and community organizing to help advance communities of color in any way possible. From my work in community engaged research to my role as a real estate developer, I support the advancement of communities of color and help develop future leaders in a variety of fields which include technology, academia and community development.

GMS: How did the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program directly or indirectly impact you becoming an entrepreneur?

Frank: The Gates Scholarship Program has played a tremendous role in my development as a leader and innovator over the years. I always knew there was a great responsibility receiving the Gates Scholarship, so while in school, I began working as a community organizer and activist for civil rights. This activism led me to become an urban planner by trade, and eventually guided me into becoming an entrepreneur. Now I use my skills as a community organizer, urban planner and technical expert to develop products and provide services that support communities in their fight for justice, equality and access.

GMS: What advice would you give to other Gates Millennium Scholar who have aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur?

Frank: Do not be afraid of failure. Failure is essential to success and both personal and professional development.


To learn more about Frank Romo  and his businesses, please visit his LinkedIn page and business website!
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