Young, Fearless & Smart – Sumaya Kazi

Listed as one of the top 10 inspirational Bangladeshis around the world, Sumaya Kazi has a list of achievements so long; its almost exhausting as it is noteworthy. She has been named one of America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs by Business Week, a Young Person Who Rocks by CNN and was honored by UTNE Reader alongside nonprofit directors, activists and artists as one of 50 Visionaries Changing Your World.

Graduated in 2004 from the University of California at Berkeley, Kazi started working at Sun Microsystem and while working there she established The CulturalConnect, a media publishing organization with a progression of online magazines spotlighting young minority professionals and, well, “connecting” them with one another and the nonprofit world.

As a Bangladeshi-American, Kazi began with the DesiConnect (a part of CulturalConnect), reaching out to young movers and shakers of South Asian plunge. As the enthusiasm for her site topped, she included The AsiaConnect, The MidEastConnect, The LatinConnect, and The AfricanaConnect. Since they dispatched, the sites have had more than 12 million hits, attracting readers in more than 100 countries.

By the age of 28 she left her corporate life and started her second company called Sumazi, a platform that finds, recommends and acquaints you to individuals who can possibly change your world. In ‘TechCrunch Disrupt Start-up Battlefield”, Sumazi managed to be a finalist and had won an Ommidyar Network award for “Startup Most Likely to Change the World”.

She says even after achieving all that, it still feels very new unnerving and pretty much as invigorating it was for her when she began at age of 22. The adapting never stops, how to raise cash from investors, when to say no, motivating representatives, anticipating the future and juggling everything with almost no sleep.

Tasnuba Sinha