Reminder: International Entrepreneurship Panel, October 6 at NYU

September 29, 2014 by Joshua
in Education, Entrepreneurship

NYU International Startup Panel and Showcase

I found a problem last year teaching entrepreneurship at NYU. Most students I worked with were born outside the U.S. and many wanted to become entrepreneurs.

As much as they wanted to start businesses, many of our conversations had this phrase in them:

… but I have to get a job with a big company to sponsor my visa.

Following on the last year’s successful Women in Entrepreneurship panel, I suggested to a couple people the idea of a panel on non-citizens who wanted to start companies here. People liked the idea and it took off. The panel has

  • Three non-U.S.-citizens who found ways to start companies here and stay
  • One immigration lawyer who knows the rules
  • One Director of NYU’s Entrepreneurship Institute, well-connected in New York’s entrepreneurship community to Moderate

The idea is to show non-citizens that staying is possible, despite the red tape by having a panel of similar people who found ways to stay. It’s not a how-to session, but I hope more inspiring. I believe it will help people like my students by showing them paths they could take and will help New York City and this country by retaining passionate entrepreneurs to start companies, create jobs, innovate, and all the other things successful entrepreneurs do. Otherwise they’d do it elsewhere. Members of the entrepreneurial community tell me the rules make starting a company too hard and pushes out people who would help our economy. In the long term, I support changing the rules. For now, I expect this panel will help people more immediately.

Click here to register. It’s free!

Here is the information from the registration page.

Can you start a company in the United States if you’re not a citizen?

Can you get your great idea off the ground on a student visa?

What challenges do international entrepreneurs face here in New York, and what resources are available to them?

People have done it! The NYU Entrepreneurs Network, Bridge at Wagner, the Wagner International Student Society and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Association at NYU Poly bring you a panel of international entrepreneurs who found ways to start ventures here, and whose experience you can learn from, as well as an immigration lawyer and the Director of NYU’s Entrepreneurship Institute.

Please join us at 5:00pm for light refreshments and a showcase in NYU Wagner’s Rudin Room, where you’ll get to meet current international students at NYU working on start-up projects and connect with resources to start your own. The panel will start at 6:30pm.


Lindsey Marshall Grey, Programs Director, NYU Entrepreneurial Institute (Moderator)


Lindsey Marshall Gray develops educational programs and events to inspire, educate, connect, and accelerate entrepreneurs across NYU. Lindsey is also a member of the Teaching Team for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. Prior to joining NYU, Lindsey worked for Innosight, an innovation firm founded by Clayton Christensen where she worked with Fortune 100 companies to help them identify strategic growth opportunities and build and invest in new businesses.Lindsey was also a Director for the marketing analytics consulting firm, Kantar Retail, where she helped develop and sell new technology solutions for the consumer packaged goods industry. Lindsey also worked at CVS /Caremark in the pharmacy retailer’s strategic product development group.Lindsey received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Connecticut College.

Najia S Khalid, Associate, Wiggin and Dana LLP

Najia S. Khalid is an associate in the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Group in the firm’s New Haven Office and serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. Najia concentrates in the area of Immigration and Nationality law, and since 2003 has gained extensive experience in the field in various capacities. She joined Wiggin and Dana in 2012 from the immigration practice group at Wormser, Kiely, Galef & Jacobs LLP in New York City. Najia has represented a wide range of clients, from national and multinational companies in a wide array of industries to artists, executives, journalists, religious groups, schools and scientists.She has represented clients in connection with nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions, labor certification applications, family-based petitions, adjustment of status and citizenship applications and immigration interviews. She also regularly counsels employers with respect to I-9 compliance and global immigration procedures.

Kajal Sanghrajka, Founder, Kajal London

Kajal is the founder of Kajal London. The company sources and distributes designer and rare vintage eyewear primarily to large global online retailers as well as their own e-commerce site, company is based in Manhattan and London. In tandem, she runs Fashion Coefficient a consulting company that provides early stage fashion companies services on operations and financial management. To establish her company and continue to work in this US, she secured an E2 entrepreneur visa. Previously, she was co-founder and former co-president of Columbia Business Lab, a co-working space and entrepreneurial program started in 2012 for entrepreneurs graduating from Columbia Business School. Kajal holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Finance from Columbia Business School.

Mehmet Kaptan, Feel Fresh Media

Mehmet Hakki Kaptan serves as CEO of Feel Fresh Media, LLC, a targeted print advertising company based in New York City, which he founded with the idea that out-of-home advertising should have the same ability to reach highly targeted audiences as digital advertising. Prior to starting Feel Fresh Media, Mehmet worked in business development for e-commerce fashion retailer Tradesy, based in Santa Monica. He also worked with Boomset, an emerging mobile event management platform based in New York City. In addition to his work with start-ups, Mehmet held several business development and market research positions in Turkish companies including Turkish Economy Bank and Isuzu Automotive Industry. He has a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Masters of Technology Management from New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Mehmet was born and raised in Turkey and currently resides in New York City.

Venkatesh Thallam, Jobsplane (NEW)

Venkatesh Thallam is founder of Jobsplane, a job portal which he started to help job aspirants in India. He started Jobsplane while was he is in his senior year of university. Jobsplane now has more than 2 million page views monthly and is growing steadily. He is currently a masters student in computer science at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and is currently planning the launch of Jobsplane USA.

Showcase Projects

(More coming soon)

Urlinq is a learning discovery platform, improving a student or professor’s organizational and communicational potential. Join other students in your courses and clubs to engage in rich discussions or keep track of events and obligations like meetings or homework assignments. Our goal is to revolutionize the way information is shared across the University network. Platforms like Blackboard and CourseWorks do not unleash the full potential of the Internet and mobile devices to engage students and improve the college experience. We feel that the traditional course management platform is an outdated model, and that a new learning management system is long overdue.

Latch is a community-driven solution that makes it easier for moms to choose breastfeeding by matching motherʼs preferences with the nursing-friendly spaces that establishments can provide. It targets one of the most common reasons why nearly 70% of new mothers in NYC abandon breastfeeding within eight weeks despite its innumerable benefits: they feel uncomfortable nursing in public. By increasing access to safe, sanitary places for moms to breastfeed away from home, Latch helps moms breastfeed for longer durations, providing babies with an important nutritional start and creating a healthier community.

The most frustrating stage of a student’s life is the jobhunt. We are working professionals who went through the familiar hardships of lack of information and proper guidance while in college. So we know exactly what you want, and more importantly what you are capable of. Our site not only contains in-depth information about various corporate organizations and their placement procedures, but also a comprehensive guiding and training system on topics such as resume writing and communication skills that will help you gain that extra edge.

Clean Water for Everyone aims to provide access to clean and affordable water supply in developing nations by working with local people and organizations to achieve positive and measured social, economic, and environmental impacts. Since its inception in 2010 as a project at University of Minnesota, Crookston, the CWFE team has provided clean water for countries such as Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Nigeria, and other areas where access to this necessity is a luxury.


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