This panel invites foreign-born entrepreneurs to share how they successfully navigate the business landscape in St. Louis. In this talk, you will learn:
- How and why networking can help you succeed in entrepreneurship?
- How to be yourself and still succeed in American entrepreneur culture?
- Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, Cortex/CET (Born in Mexico)
- Raj Singh, Waylit (Born in India)
- Rick Shang, Vulpes Corp (Born in China)
- Ola Ayeni, Claim Academy (Born in Nigeria)
Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano is the incoming Director for the Center of Emerging Technology (CET).
Raj Singh came to the U.S. as an international student and started his career with Monsanto (now Bayer). He has grown a web-services company from 10 to 150 people and has helped start Aggio, a data analytics company in the agriculture space. Raj is now heading WayLit, a platform that helps companies hire foreign national talent easily.
Rick Shang is currently a doctoral student at Washington University in St. Louis and the founder of Vulpes Corp., a startup to commercialize and manufacture new materials. Rick Shang serves on a number of boards, including United Way Greater St. Louis, the Contemporary Art Museum and Missouri Asian American Youth Foundation. Rick Shang arrived in St. Louis 6 years ago to pursue his studies at Washington University in St. Louis. During the ensuing years, Rick Shang, facilitating work at the Mosaic Project, helped immigrants to find opportunities and remain in St. Louis and slowly grow into a community organizer.
Ola Ayeni founded St. Louis-based Claim Academy, which is helping to solve the massive software developer shortage in the Greater St. Louis area and nationally. Through their coding bootcamp, Claim Academy trains people to be software developers in just 3-months. According to the St. Louis Business
Journal, there are more than 10,000 tech openings in the St. Louis region. His academy has a 93% placement rate in companies and his students on average make $67,000 to start even without a college education. Ola is also the founder of eateria.co, an Arch Grants-winning, St. Louis-based digital marketing platform designed specifically for restaurant, food and hospitality businesses.
In addition to winning a $50,000 Arch Grant in 2013, Ayeni was the grand prize winner for the MillerCoors “Tap the Future” Business Plan Competition, the winner of Microsoft Bizspark in 2012, Braintree Business Award in 2012, the St. Louis Business Journal Diverse Business Leader Award in 2014, 100 St Louis to know in Business in 2017 and several others.
Ola’s company Claim Academy is the recipient of the coveted Community Building award by Facebook in 2018. When Ola is not working to change lives at Claim Academy and not with his family, he performs several civic duties. He has served on Downtown Partnership Board, St Louis Promise Zone Workforce Board, Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship Board, Co-chair MaCarthur Foundation Workforce Board and recently the Integration Advisory team of Greater St Louis Inc.
(Thursday) 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
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St. Louis Mosaic Project